Sam Smith Proves He Has Genuine Talent in Debut Album, So Why is He So Sad?

In his hit single “Stay With Me” off his debut album In the Lonely Hour, Sam Smith sings, “Why am I so emotional?” and after listening to the entirety of In the Lonely Hour, it’s still unclear why.

That’s not to say that Sam Smith’s emotional side is not attractive. In “Stay With Me” Smith sings with raw emotion and reveals himself to be paranoid, lonely, self-conscious, and above all, human. “Guess it’s true, I’m not good at a one-night stand/ But I still need love ‘cause I’m just a man” he admits. It’s refreshing to see a man display his vulnerability instead of yielding to the pressures of the tough, hyper-masculine ideal.

In “I’m Not the Only One”, the listener discovers the root of Smith’s sadness: an unfaithful lover. This bitterness spreads throughout the album, especially in “Like I Can”; but what first sounds like raw emotion becomes a little tiresome by the record’s end. In “Not in That Way”, Smith sounds slavish when he wails “And I hate to say I need you/ I’m so reliant/ I’m so dependent/ “I’m such a fool.” You feel the urge to act as his best friend and slap him across the face and take him out to a bar.

However, Smith’s talent shines on each song. “Money on my Mind”, the second single and opening track, showcases his high range, as does “Life Support”. The British hipster-ish looking guy has the soul of a church choir and sounds eerily similar to Frank Ocean in a blend of both pop and R&B songs.

“Lay Me Down”, the first single from over a year ago, ends the album on an insignificant note, but the deluxe version includes four more tracks. One of these is the acoustic version of “Latch” that Disclosure remixed. Another is “Restart” which should have ended the album originally. “And the truth is I’m better on my own/ And I’m the one to leave it apart/ So let me restart,” Smith sings. It sounds like he is finally ready to embrace his newfound fame, and with his talent, he should have no trouble finding a new flame to write about.

3 Comments

  1. Ruby Mora

    July 6, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    I first discovered Sam Smith and his amazing voice when I heard him cover Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” on Tumblr. This man is really going to be great! Pure talent! 🙂

  2. Samantha

    July 7, 2014 at 12:05 am

    I will definitely check him out! Another fellow Sam!

  3. Kyle V.

    July 8, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Rare vocal prowess. Hope he doesn’t get wrecked by his fame. Good stuff!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.