Relative newcomer Sam Smith has been issuing his status as a talented artist since his first appearance on Disclosure’s single “Latch” in 2012. His success has only continued and heightened since then with his recent victories in this year’s Grammy Awards. His success can be chiefly attributed to his debut studio album “In the Lonely Hour” which was release on May 26th of last year; through record labels Capitol and Method. The album features a number of the artist’s hit songs such as “Money On My Mind,” “Stay with Me” and “I’m not the Only One.”
The collection is characterised by key themes of relationships, love, heartbreak and sorrow; apparently inspired by Smith’s own experiences and anchored by the text’s melancholic title. The artist takes us through his journey from his longing for his love-interest to “Leave [his] Lover” and “Stay with [him]” to his heartbreak displayed in “I know I’m not the only one” and “Not in that Way” and his strengthening and rejuvenation in the song “Restart.”
Throughout the album the artist delivers a sense of true feeling with every song; encompassing the album with realism and truth. When taking a close look at the lyrics of songs such as “Restart” and “I know I’m not the Only One,” in combination with the passion enveloped into Smith’s voice, listeners are provided with a true insight into thee artist’s feelings. This provides the text with heartfelt expression and meaningfulness; features which tend to lack in contemporary music
The song arrangement of the album effectively satisfies the emotions and moods that are typically desired from audiences; with there being a consistent shift between soft and slow songs to stronger and more fast pace pieces. The album is also characterised by a mellow tone and Smith effectively displays his vocal range throughout. Additionally, the album features numbers with instruments such as the drums and guitar being used; however Smith issues his rhymatic and vocal talents through not simply relying upon these instruments; they follow his lead instead of the alternative.
The artist also offers lovers of his hit single with Disclosure, “Latch” with a new take on the song by presenting an acoustic version. This number once again displays the Smith’s vocal range, talent and creativity.
A notable aspect of the album is the lack of featuring artists. This may be a negative in some opinions however it can be more chiefly seen as a positive; as unlike a great deal of contemporary artists (such as DJ Khaled, who is known for having up to ten artists in one song) Smith provides a collection that is solely focused upon himself, his experiences and his talent. The album is solely and truly Sam Smith.
Finally, the album, since its 2014 release has brought Smith a number of credentials such as being the “only artist to sell more than one million albums in both the UK and the US,” as stated by the BBC and also receiving the award for “Best Pop Vocal Album” at this year’s Grammy Awards.
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