In The Lonely Hour: The MCIT Review
When I heard about this album back in April, I didn’t think too much of it or the artist. I had no idea who Sam Smith was. I looked him up on wiki and found out he was a British singer also he was the fella behind that huge disclosure hit “Latch”. I have a thing for British musicians, call me crazy, but they just have this charm about them. It’s hard to explain! So I saw he was coming out with an album called In The Lonely Hour. “What could that mean?” I thought to myself and decided to look it up on iTunes. I found it in the pre-order section and I previewed the track “Money On My Mind”. To be honest, I didn’t really think much of it because I was listening to the beat and his voice, NOT the lyrics. (Hey I never heard the guy really sing before and I was curious to know) Since this was the only track at the time to be previewed (I believe it was or the only one I clicked), I thought “This is going to be just another pop album from Britain.” Until I repeated the preview of the song to hear the lyrics and when I heard “I do it for the love…I don’t have…” I knew something special was happening. So I decided to go back to wiki and read up more on this album.
That’s when I found this quote from an interview Sam did with Digital Spy.
“This album is my ‘f**k off’ to everyone and basically say, ‘No, I have been in love and, if anything, it was much more painful than your version’, because I’m not getting what I want and it’s so close.”
FINALLY, SOMEONE HAS BEEN SAYING WHAT I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TELL PEOPLE FOR THE LONGEST! NOT ONLY THAT THIS IS GOING TO BE DOCUMENTED IN MUSICAL FORM!!! I MEAN I MAY NOT HAVE GONE THROUGH A LOT, BUT BEING BURNED BY LOVE IS ONE THING I DID GO THROUGH!!!
Let me calm down…
What I’m saying is after reading that quote, I knew then that this wasn’t just be a pop album that has some dance songs, love songs, breakup songs and blah songs on it, this album was going to be a journey. This album was going to take all my heartstrings and play them like a beautiful guitar. This album was going to make me confront how I felt about my love life in an honest way. THIS ALBUM WAS GOING TO MAKE ME FEEL!
So I had to fight the urge to buy this album because I knew it was going to be something amazing. I would look at the album and try to convince myself “DON’T BUY THIS ALBUM”. This only made me want to buy it more especially when I heard “Stay With Me” for the first time. SAM CAN SANG. Sam Smith is a definition of a SINGER…no A SANGER! Music heads know what I mean! I knew that “In The Lonely Hour” was definitely going to be something I would be playing once June 17th rolled around. When it did, I brought it and didn’t listen to it for a good 3 days because I wasn’t sure if I was ready to hear what I was about to hear. I thought I was going to be a mess after this album. You know I thought I was going to be in glass case of emotion or worst behavior like Drake when he’s on his period. Thankfully that didn’t happen, but I DID FEEL SOMETHING!
SOMETHING I AM GOING TO SHARE WITH YOU ALL!
I know I’m two months late, but if you haven’t guessed it “In The Lonely Hour” is going to be my very first music review on my blog. I’m not going to try to break down each of the songs and tell you the back stories! I ‘m just going to talk about how those songs affected me and my favorite lyric from the songs.
This album is a beautiful lesson in love. It repeats a message that has been sung by many singers of the past and it’s very simple: Sometimes love is very painful. Sometimes your best isn’t good enough. Love is going to hurt.
Let’s get DIVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEE INNNNNNNNNNNNNN to it hahahahaha.
“Money On My Mind”
The honesty comes in immediately with the opening “Money On My Mind”. It’s basically an artist being honest saying“I didn’t make this album for the money, it’s for the love”. I am glad to finally hear an artist start an album being honest. The song lets everyone know that I’m not here for the money or my album isn’t just a dis genuine record for you to buy. I feel like Sam wants to make a lasting connection with his fans, not just some record so he can pay some bill and buy some things for himself. This is “Money On My Mind” and this is a genuine singer.
Favorite Lyrics: “Cause I’m not a Puppet, I will work against your strings” and infectious hook of course.
Sam Smith said this is his most personal record on his album on a VEVO Q&A. He said he wrote it in his darkest hour. The title may not look like it’s going to be a sad song, but ohhhh you are wrong. This song made me want to cry a little. You ever held on to to something, but knew in your mind you had to let it go? It may be a good thing, but too much of it can hurt you, bringing more heartache to yourself especially if it’s one sided. Lines like “ Too much of a good thing won’t be good anymore, watch where I tread before I fall” and “ I have made a decision not to answer your calls, I put everything out there and got nothing at all” definitely make the point that no matter what the person does, he won’t get the feelings for that person from that person. It’s pointless. This is exactly how I felt when I heard the song. I mean it’s pointless to hope and hope that one day this is going to change. One day, they will get my feelings and show em back! Unfortunately, One day never comes sometimes in life & most importantly this song.
Favorite Lyrics: The chorus. “Too much of a good thing isn’t good and you know. I watch where I walk before I fall, before I fall”.
“Stay With Me”
Can the church say Amen? Amen! You ready for some soul to enter your eardrums? I wasn’t when I first heard this. This summer smash is very gospel and soulful. The choir on the hook is just amazing. Wait…that’s not a choir? That’s Sam Smith? Indeed it is Sam Smith as a choir. I was surprised! There is an interview online where he explains exactly how he got that sound by singing the hook around different areas of the studio. This is a perfect example how singers can use their voices to create a effect that’s not mechanical or fake. This song is about a one night stand. I have never had a one night stand so I can’t really relate, but I understand the song. “The sex is over, but I rather just spend the rest of the day with you falling in love”. It’s seeking love, but knowing that’s impossible because it was just sex. A beautiful song about a very prevalent thing in music.
Favorite Lyrics: “Why am I so emotional? No, It’s not a good look gain some self control”.
“Leave Your Lover”
I’ll be honest I dreaded hearing this song. When I saw it in the track listing the first time I looked up the record, I knew this was going to be the one to make not only me sad, but everyone sad. “Leave Your Lover” is huge downer. I mean it means nothing if you are in a relationship, but if you not in one….ouch. This songs rips your heartstrings out and replaces them with sad, depression, soaked strings. Let’s be honest, the theme of the song is common. I mean who hasn’t thought of this? It could be the girl/guy next door with some jerk, the popular person with another popular person or worst a close friend who you wished was with you, but with someone else. EVERYONE has been there once. If you haven’t you are lucky. It just sucks major when you are there and you still don’t get picked no matter how great you are. It also sucks when you never got to tell them how you felt and now have to just lock all your feelings in an emotional safe protected by three dragons, Cobra’s command force and Starscream because there is NO way Starscream can mess up this mission. Ok I’m being dramatic, but you know what I mean hehe. You put all that stuff aside for them and just go on about your life. The person will not leave their lover for you because this life and not a movie! This only happens in the movies and you know it!!! It sucks, but it’s true!
Favorite Lyrics: “Don’t have direction I’m just rolling down this road, Waiting for you to bring me in from out the cold”, “But if I can’t have you I’ll walk this life alone, Spur you the rising storm and let the rivers flow”.
“I’m Not The Only One”
After multiple listens, I can say this is my favorite track on the album. Hands down, this is my favorite. Two timing is never cool and when you are being two timed it’s worst. Sam said in behind the scenes video for this song that he put himself in the shoes of a married woman who was being cheated on by her husband and she knew it. I think this can also apply to relationships as well not just marriages. I mean wouldn’t suck to be with someone when you know they have someone else in their back pocket as well? I haven’t been in a relationship, but I can relate to this because it’s just a sucky feeling. Revenge will be sweet though. Any who, The production on this song is just sickening to me. Pianos do something to me. Drums + Pianos + Sam = victory. Sam just sounds amazing and then he shows off a bit towards the end.
Favorite Lyrics: “You’ve been so unavailable, Now Sadly I know why, Your heart is unobtainable Even though Lord knows you kept mine” (Verse 2)
“I’ve Told You Now”
What is one of the toughest things to do in love? Fall? No, that’s pretty easy to do. What about keeping the relationship alive? That’s a little challenging to do, but no. How about telling them your feelings? YES! This is so hard for people like me. When I do that it just comes out awkward and weird haha. Plus I don’t like ruining moods or messing up friendships in general. The lines “Still I refrain from talking at you, talking on, You know me well, I don’t explain” sums it up for me. If she know me well, then she should know when I like her right? It’s just tough to cross that line sometimes and let that person know of your feelings. It can go either way: bad or great. It’s terrible when you truthfully try your best and still no dice. Verse 2 summed that up and hits my heart every time. I almost cried when I heard it the first time. It’s like the person is everything and is always there for you, so why would I want to quit on them. This brings it back to “Good Thing” in a way because maybe this good thing should be left alone right? It make sense logically and emotionally. The heart wants the person while the mind prefers the smarter route of “Good Thing”. I love this song. “I’ve Told You Now” comes second in the favorite game. It’s the introvert’s anthem to telling our emotions. I know we need to just nut up and talk up to the person, but see the way my emotions is set up.
Favorite Lyrics: You Know What I mean, Although I try my best I still let down the team, You’re everything I want, Why should I resist when you are there for me? (Verse 2)
“Like I Can”
“Your lover can be anything, but he/she ain’t me” is what this song is about. I. AM. AWESOME. So you should be with me. That’s pretty much it. I mean I know I’m awesome, but that’s not why someone should be with me….wait..no that’s the reason hahaha. I’m joking. I know there is plenty more that needs to be considered for a relationship or whatever. I felt Sam was a bit P’OED with the person of his eye. He was saying on this song, “I am your one so stop looking fool”. It’s very frustrating to think you are that person’s one and they continue to search for “greener pastures”. What are you trying to say? My pastures aren’t green enough? You saying I’m not good enough? You saying I don’t even get a chance? Oh it’s cool nobody is going to love you like I would love so in the words of Ne-Yo “Go on girl” Bye bye.
Favorite Lyrics: “Why are you looking down all the wrong roads, When mine is the heart and the salt of the soul”, “We both have demons that we can’t stand, I love your demons like devils can”
“You’re my Life Support” AWWWWWWWW! This song just was full of the “AWW” on my end. “Life Support” is a dependent song. It’s not dependent in a bad way, but one can look at that way. Basically, I love you so much that I’ll die if you weren’t here; You keep me alive just like those machine do, that’s how deep my love is for you. SEEE IT IS JUST AWWWW! It may not be that way for those who want a partner who is a bit more independent than this song. However, I think it’s possible to be independent and still feel this way about your partner because they just mean that much to you. “Life Support” Is just one of those cute songs you listen to while cuddled up with your partner giving them forehead kisses. You be S’CUTE to that song with your partner. S’CUTEEEEEEE!
Favorite Lyrics: “I’ve been sleeping with the lights on, Cause the darkness is surrounding you”.
“Not In That Way”
Rejection, Hi my lovely friend. I figured this theme had to be addressed somewhere on the album. “Not In That Way” is about rejection and not telling a person your feelings because you already know the answer. It feels like a continuation of “I’ve Told You Now” except this song explains exactly why Sam or other people won’t tell that person how they feel. I’ve been on this side plenty of times which why I remain quiet. I am very good at reading people. I can tell if someone just remain friends or if they may actually like me. Most of the time, it’s the friend option. So if I know that already, I have no use to tell them how I feel about them. The line “When you make it so clear, you don’t want me” can take on so many different means. It could be indirect rejection where one plays it off or it can be a straight up direct rejection. “Not In That Way” became a confirmation of what I already knew. I love the song for what it is. Also, it put in full sad mode when I heard it the first time.
Favorite Lyrics: “I’d never ask you cause deep down, I’m certain I know what you’d say, You’d say I’m sorry, believe me, I love you, but not in that way” (Chorus), “And I hate to say I love you, When it’s so hard for me” , “I find myself singing the blues, Can’t bear, can’t face the truth”.
“Lay Me Down”
We come to the final track of the standard edition of the album. This song was originally put out when Sam was 19, but it was re-recorded for the album. Honestly, I didn’t even like this song when I first heard it. I don’t know I didn’t like it…maybe because by the time I got to this song, I was in full on sad mode. “Not In That Way” brought me there…well the whole album did. So when I heard this song, I was like get this Happy sorta stuff away from me! Thankfully, I played it a couple of more times and it grew on me. Sam really showcased that SANGER voice on this track man. Every time Sam sings “Can I lay by your side, Next to you” I throw up my hands, shout or snap my fingers. The background vocals are perfect. I wish there was more of that “Who’s to say you won’t hear me” vocals in other parts of the songs. I’m glad he didn’t do that because that would have gotten annoying and just weird. The song in general made me sad that didn’t have this person now, but in the future I’ll be able to play them this beautiful song or even butcher it singing to them. “Lay Me Down” is just beautiful. I can see this as a wedding song. Maybe?
Favorite Lyrics: “Who’s to say you won’t hear me?”, “I’m reaching out to you can you hear my call”, “Can I lay by your side, next to you”.
Hellooooo Deluxe edition tracks!!! This is the first of the four deluxe edition tracks! You can count so you know which one is the last track everybody. I have to say next to “Money On My Mind”, “Reminds Me Of You”, “La La La” and “Like I Can”, “Restart” is the most up-tempo song on the album. I would call this the “I’m going to get over this break up” song by dancing my cares away. “Restart” is exactly that. If you think you aren’t going to dance, oh my friend trust me you are going to dance. Everyone wants to start anew after a break up. Everybody wants to a restart at one point of their lives and everyone likes dancing. Unless you are from that town in footloose that shuns dancing before Kevin Bacon came and saved it from its sins. It’s best to keep your head up in the mist of a break up and look forward. If you can dance the pain away and just keep smiling. “Restart” comes in third for my favorite song on this album.
Favorite Lyrics: “It was a Monday night when you told it was over babe, and by the Friday night I knew that I would be okay”, “What do you want from me when I just want a restart”, “and the truth is I’m better on my own, and I don’t want to live in the past”
“Latch (Acoustic Version)”
Latch was huge hit last year ending up just about everywhere. Don’t act like you never heard this song before. You have heard Latch before by Disclosure at least once in your life. You have heard in the background, commercials, youtube videos, vines, etc. Point is you have heard the song before. However, this version of “Latch” is much more personal and emotional. It’s stripped down to just a guitar and Sam’s voice. Perfection. In my opinion, this version makes “Latch” a much stronger song. The lyrics gain new powers and hit much harder. Instead of just waiting for the hook to dance to, you will be listening and emoting to it. Once you hear this version, go back and listen to the original. I can guarantee one thing. You will be smiling and most likely in the original while you simply reflect and want to hold the person you love the most close when you hear the acoustic version.
Favorite Lyrics: “You lift my heart up when the rest of me is down”, “Now I’ve got you in my space, I won’t let go of you, got you shackled in my embrace, I’m latching on to you” (Chorus).
“La La La”
If you live in the UK, you know who Naughty Boy is (I would hope you do because this conversation got very weird). Dear USA, Naughty Boy is like a Timbaland or a Calvin Harris. You know a producer who makes dope music and other people write and sing songs over his beats. That’s pretty much what this is. This song appeared on his album called “Hotel Cabana” and it came out last year. Sam didn’t want to put this on the album because it’s old, but I’m glad it he decided to put it on there. It’s a fun song about running away from your problems or how I saw it: a fun song about blocking annoying, negative people from your ear holes. Yeah that’s what it’s about. I know it’s rude to just go LA LA LA LA LA during someone’s conversation, but I swear that’s what I want to do. You try to understand them, you try to reason with them and still they won’t stop the backwards thinking or the annoyance. I mean “I don’t mean to judge”, but please stop talking. LA LA LA LA!
Favorite Lyrics: “I can’t find your silver lining, I don’t mean to judge, bur when you read your speech it’s tiring, Enough is enough” (Bridge), “When you spit your venom, keep it shut I hate it”.
“Make It To Me”
This song made me think of Bruno Mars’ “Talking To The Moon”. Both of those songs have that theme “I know you are out there somewhere looking for me while I’m looking for you”. Oh that’s just me? HOUSEQUAKE! BULLSHIT TO THAT NOTION. I know I’m not the only one * Winks * who feels like that. We all are looking for that one person to complete us and share our lives with. “Make It To Me” just echoes to whoever that person is that “I know you are there and I can’t wait for us to meet.” I really believe that person is out there for all of us. A wonderful song. Sam is waiting on that person, I’m waiting on that person, maybe you are waiting on that person too.
Favorite Lyrics: “ A Distant Stranger that I will complete”, “So much I need to share, so much I need to get off my chest”, “I’m waiting patiently though time is moving slow, I have one vacancy, And I wanted you to know that”
OH YOU THOUGHT THE REVIEW WAS OVER??? THERE ARE 4 MORE SONGS TO GO!!!! LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
“Reminds Me Of You”
This track is available only on the Target exclusive edition of the album. This song is about trying to get over someone you really loved. They either broke up with you or they are with someone new. The hurt is so bad that trying to get over them by going to the club or dates your friends set up or whatever just won’t work. You tried, but it’s not going to work. Everything reminds you of he or she. So the best option is leaving town right? Nope…still not going to work. The best option is to accept it’s over. YET ACCEPTING THINGS IS SO HARD! I haven’t been there in that exact way, but I totally understand what Sam was trying to convey to us all. “How the hell am I going to get over this when you are everywhere?”
Favorite Lyrics: “I’ve got to get out of here, This town’s no longer fun”, “You are moving on, moving on, And I’m stuck on the track”.
“Stay With Me (feat. Mary J. Blige)”
Can the church do it again ah! Can ya say amen one more time! AMEN! When I heard the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul was joining Sam Smith on this song, I thought it was a joke or just mash up of MJB singing it live. The fact it’s a studio quality version of “Stay With Me”, The fact SAM GOT MJB ON IT, The fact this exits makes my soul extremely happy. I didn’t think this song could be improved, but MJB made this go a WHOLE. NOTHFER. LEVEL. This version of the song is a must listen. It’s available only on the Target exclusive edition of the album. If you don’t have that, just search for it on Youtube or Google. You will definitely find it. GO TO TARGET OR YOUTUBE GO GO GO!!!!
Favorite Lyrics: Mary J. Blige. MARY J. BLIGE.
Sam didn’t want to put this on the album because “Nirvana was last year and ‘In The Lonely Hour’ is this year”. I completely understand that, but I have to issue a big “DUDE THIS SONG IS CRACK, WHY THE HELL NOT”! THIS SONG IS TOO DOPE TO NOT BE ON HERE. JUST BEASTY! Wait it is on the album you say? How do I get it? GOOGLE PLAY THAT’S HOW! To own this track obtain the Google Play edition of “In The Lonely Hour”. If you just want to hear it, you can look it up on youtube. This song….listen oh baby oh baby oh baby this song is dope and that’s true. I think this is about falling for that person you have been running from or someone you have been denying feelings for when in reality you really love them. The second verse makes it clear it’s not the soulmate you found, but you did find something with this person. A relationship formed and it became something that takes you really high. A feel good relationship that you had no idea was coming to you. It may not last long, but it feels good now and what’s the point of denying the emotions that come to you. That’s Nirvana to me.
Favorite Lyrics: “It’s too late to get away from it all, I’m done with running so I give it to you”, “This moment has caused a reaction resulting in a reattachment, will you take me to Nirvana, I don’t think this will last, but you’re here in my arms” (chorus), “I’m not gonna give you my name, And I don’t think you want that to change”
“In The Lonely Hour”
The fitting ending to the album. The correct way the album should close in my mind. When I heard this song existed, I was pissed it wasn’t on the iTunes edition of the album. THIS IS JUST HOW THE ALBUM SHOULD END. The title track should be at the end of every edition of the album! “In The Lonely Hour” just wraps up the journey all the listeners go on with Sam. I felt cheated in a way that this track didn’t appear on the general album. I had to go and hunt this track down on youtube to hear how it sounds. Loneliness is the theme and could have been the opening to album if it wanted to. I take that back no it can’t. It can only be the ending! I Thankfully, the song available on both the Google play edition and Target’s exclusive edition. Maybe it’s just me or the albums that don’t come with this song are inferior to the Google play & Target editions of this album. NAH it’s still an amazing album, but “Nirvana” and this song are just amazing. This song should have wrapped it up after “Lay Me Down” or “Make It To Me”, but that’s just me.
Favorite Lyrics: “ I need someone that I’ll look to, In the lonely hour, That we all go through”, “These other voices they don’t cut through, In The Lonely Hour, I need you”
“In The Lonely Hour” may be one of the best albums of 2014. I know it’s rare for someone’s debut album to be considered classic. Usually it takes a musician their third or fourth album to find their sound or even get classic tagged on it. Hell sometimes it only takes the second album to be their classic album. Some may disagree with me, but I feel like “In The Lonely Hour” is a classic of 2014. I’m glad I didn’t ignore this album! I am extremely happy I cracked and brought this album. I highly recommend you visit The Lonely Hour. I’m calling the experience that. Please go out, buy the record and listen to it. To create “In The Lonely Hour” The Ultimate Edition…. Wait small side rant: I really hope that doesn’t become a thing in like two years. I cannot stand when a musician re-releases an album with all the bonus tracks and 2 new songs. That seriously irks me. Just make a new album Jeeze. Anyways, If you want all the tracks I mentioned just go buy all the versions of this album. You can do that if you want to! I just prefer you to get one of the version of this record…it’s well worth the money!
Rating: 10/10, 5 out of 5, Super Sadness Cannon. Touching music! A Classic.
Till next review!
I think I need to go cry now and think about my life.