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In the Lonely Hour, by Sam Smith

Arguably 2014’s best (and most talked about) new artist, Sam Smith proves on his debut album that the hype is justified. While many first discovered the British singer’s now-trademark falsetto on Disclosure’s house hit “Latch,” this ten-song tour de force of impassioned ballads and blue-eyed soul shows a vulnerable side.

An open letter to unrequited love, In the Lonely Hour works through a range of relationship-fueled emotions, from desperation (“Stay With Me”) and jealousy (“Leave Your Lover”) to anger (“I’ve Told You Now”). Album opener and lead single “Money On My Mind” — comparatively upbeat with its snappy drums and high-flying chorus — seems the one exception to what would otherwise amount to a concept album.

Most of the songs on Lonely Hour follow a similar path: spare instrumentation — simple guitar strum, plaintive piano — paired with Smith’s tremulous vocals, which builds to an emotionally charged payoff, combining strings and a gospel choir backing the singer’s unmistakable wail. This is nowhere better realized than on album standout “I’m Not the Only One.”

In his liner notes, Smith tells us, “I hope that this album helps you as much as it helped me, in my lonely hour.” Lovelorn or not, Lonely Hour is sure to move you at times (just try to ignore the achingly beautiful “Not in That Way”). My only hope is that the 22-year-old phenom receives the validation he seeks, so his sophomore effort might be as ebullient as it is heartfelt.

  • Album: In the Lonely Hour
  • Artist: Sam Smith
  • Label: Capitol
  • Songs: (1) Money on My Mind (2) Good Thing (3) Stay with Me (4) Leave Your Lover (5) I’m Not the Only One (6) I’ve Told You Now (7) Like I Can (8) Life Support (9) Not in That Way (10) Lay Me Down
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Arguably 2014’s best (and most talked about) new artist, Sam Smith proves on his debut album that the hype is justified. While many first discovered the British singer’s now-trademark falsetto on Disclosure’s house hit “Latch,” this ten-song tour de force of impassioned ballads and blue-eyed soul shows a vulnerable side.

An open letter to unrequited love, In the Lonely Hour works through a range of relationship-fueled emotions, from desperation (“Stay With Me”) and jealousy (“Leave Your Lover”) to anger (“I’ve Told You Now”). Album opener and lead single “Money On My Mind” — comparatively upbeat with its snappy drums and high-flying chorus — seems the one exception to what would otherwise amount to a concept album.

Most of the songs on Lonely Hour follow a similar path: spare instrumentation — simple guitar strum, plaintive piano — paired with Smith’s tremulous vocals, which builds to an emotionally charged payoff, combining strings and a gospel choir backing the singer’s unmistakable wail. This is nowhere better realized than on album standout “I’m Not the Only One.”

In his liner notes, Smith tells us, “I hope that this album helps you as much as it helped me, in my lonely hour.” Lovelorn or not, Lonely Hour is sure to move you at times (just try to ignore the achingly beautiful “Not in That Way”). My only hope is that the 22-year-old phenom receives the validation he seeks, so his sophomore effort might be as ebullient as it is heartfelt.

  • Album: In the Lonely Hour
  • Artist: Sam Smith
  • Label: Capitol
  • Songs: (1) Money on My Mind (2) Good Thing (3) Stay with Me (4) Leave Your Lover (5) I’m Not the Only One (6) I’ve Told You Now (7) Like I Can (8) Life Support (9) Not in That Way (10) Lay Me Down
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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