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Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour – Reviewed in no particular order

Torch songs

Torch songs

Timing is everything. Pressed for time and a lane at the grocery store opens and your next in line. The synchronization of the street lights turning green – GO. Turn on the radio in the car and your (current) favorite song is playing – Stay With Me by Sam Smith. Kept meaning to Google him because there are only so many artists who ‘hook’ me. On the subject of timing, guess my reaction to these songs has everything to do with the musical timing and, of course, Smith’s sultry voice – genuine passion coming through the radio waves. Desire. Deep wanting for what you can’t have. (Rihanna’s Stay was another song that had a similar effect.)

Leave Your Lover video is so beautiful and tasteful. Sophisticated and timeless. Loving. Carefree. Affection displayed through eye contact and touch. The viewer is left guessing who the lovers are because … they all love each other. Smith wrote Leave Your Lover as a way to deal with the unrequited love he had for another man. Smith, comfortably gay, feels his sexuality is as natural as his arm is to his body (as it should be). … don’t have direction, I’m just rolling down this road … can’t keep this beating heart at bay … just leave your lover, leave him for me … Smith did confront the object of his affection and is now in a happy place.

The opening of Good Thing reminds me of the music from a classic Hollywood film leading you up to a passionate kiss like Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca (also reminds me of the entry to JT’s Pusher Love Girl) but switches to mid tempo. Had a dream I was mugged outside your house, I had a dream in a panic you came running out … for a moment I believed you loved me too … watch where I trip before I fall … thump, thump, thump (that’s a beat not someone tripping) … we talk maybe twenty times a day but still never say what I want to say … simple guitar, piano, thump, thump, thump … too much of a good thing … Hollywood music … I made the decision not to answer your calls, I put everything out there and got nothing at all, I watch where I walk before I fall. This song is perfect – a proclamation of love without being whiney. Stylish, fun and strong finish.

Sam Smith is twenty-two years old but his lyrics have depth and the instrumentals are amazing but his voice breaths life into the songs and tell his story from his heart. Money on My Mind, the beat is incredible and so unique. You’re Not the Only One and I’ve Told You Now you can almost feel his pain. It is as though he his pouring his soul out … why do you think I come out here of my free will … wasted all my precious time while the truth spills out … I’ve told you now… Powerful!

The more I listen to the album in its entirety the more I wonder why people allow themselves to become involved in a lop-sided love affair. Why waste the time and emotional energy? Why allow oneself to become wrapped up in so much delusion? Because being in love is intoxicating. The pursuit of happiness, the need for a meaningful relationship is admirable and passionate and hope is … necessary. … I’d never ask you because deep down I’m certain you’d say … I’m sorry, believe me, I love you but … Not In That Way.
Just when I have had enough of his heartache and despair at the start of Lay Me Down he pulls me back in with … can I lay by your side? … roughness in his voice, deeper, louder and then easing back into a falsetto.

Cannot remember the last time I bought music since Spotify but I did purchase Sam Smith’s debut album via iTunes, which I have listened to repeatedly today. In an interview with The Guardian he mentions his desire to fall in love and have his heart broken properly. At twenty-two he has declares his continued quest for love in Make It to Me (final song) … finding my distant stranger that I will complete … I know you’re out there where we’re meant to be, so keep your head up and make it to me, And make it to me.

Great recommendation, Iman.

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