In the Lonely Hour is indeed for the lonely hour, when you are rueing heartbreak and pining over other people’s lovers. Sam Smith‘s vocals are the absolute highlight across the whole album, which is a shining tribute to 80’s and 90’s R&B/Pop vocalists, and the albums through which they poured their heart out.
Of course lead single ‘Money On My Mind’ has to get a mention; if for nothing else, that it’s a vocal obstacle course of sorts with falsetto, an electronic tonal chorus and a soulful ornamentation decorating the verses, but then it’s also a surefire mood changer, able to take you from 9-to-5 doldrums, to dancefloor shenanigans.
However the dance hits like ‘Money on My Mind,’ as well as the collaborations with the likes of Disclosure and Naughty Boy, are the tip of a genre-crossing, urban, pop, soul, blues, gospel and R&B-inspired iceberg. You’ve already seen evidence of this with the soulful, one-night-stand motivated tune ‘Stay With Me,’ and maybe you’ve also heard the heartfelt and goosebump-inducing ballad ‘Leave Your Lover.’
If you like goosebumps, and just generally beautiful tracks full of soul and simple instrumentation that allow gorgeous vocals to tell their love stories, ‘I’ve Told You Now,’ ‘Like I Can’ and ‘Good Thing’ are must plays.
In a music scene that is dominated by electro-anything and abstract themes, this is a remarkable album for it’s simple focus on love, loneliness, heartbreak and more than anything, outstanding, beautiful vocals and songwriting.
In The Lonely Hour is available now through Sam Smith‘s own webstore.