There aren’t many artists who have received as much critical and commercial acclaim before the release of their debut solo album as singer-songwriter Sam Smith has.
His stratospheric success featuring on Naughty Boy’s 2012 single La La La and Disclosure’s 2013 hit Latch made him a household name by the age of just 21. Providing soulful yet delicate harmonies over the house and garage-inspired productions of both artists, Smith established himself as a young man with a prodigious vocal capacity. His 2014 major label debut In the Lonely Hour spawned four consecutive top ten singles including two international chart-toppers. The record saw Smith pen his own open letter to an unrequited love as he self-destructively dreams of intimacy. Although his album-long dedication to illustrate his love-torn self through evocative stories is laudable in practise, the monotony and lack of diversity surrounding this theme does fatigue as the album progresses. While his songwriting does at times feel a bit vanilla, In the Lonely Hour cannot be discredited as anything short of flawless, showcasing his stunning vocals and ability to hit all notes.
The extended re-issue of this album could serve as Smith’s chance for revision, with recorded covers such as Amy Winehouse’s Love is a Losing Game as well as an exclusive new track: Drowning Shadows. Mary J. Blige, A$AP Rocky and John Legend also feature.
With the addition of new material – and not forgetting that he recently achieved the first-ever James Bond theme number one single with his powerful Writing’s on the Wall ballad, Sam Smith appears to have an incredibly bright future ahead of him.
The bottom line
A flawless album showcasing Smith's incredible vocal ability.