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In the Lonely Hour Image
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

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6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 111 Ratings

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  • Summary: This is the debut full-length release for the British neo-R&B singer-songwriter.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Jun 17, 2014
    85
    Smith bares more than his vocal cords on this record. Every story of unrequited love that's been put to song is powerful in its own right.
  2. May 27, 2014
    80
    It’s universally accessible, and it’s the kind of pop that has the potential to dominate the charts and win over hearts during festival slots.
  3. May 27, 2014
    70
    This is an understated and promising first step from an unpredictable and distinctive talent.
  4. May 27, 2014
    60
    Smith's vocals are spot-on throughout, save for the odd Mariah-esque trickle towards X Factor auditionee theatrics, and find themselves paired with as pitch-perfect a production as has been heard all year.
  5. 58
    In the Lonely Hour is inexpressive and hard to sit through despite being built for easy listening.
  6. 50
    Smith’ sugary falsetto comes across a tad one dimensional and inexpressive on his solo debut In The Lonely Hour.
  7. 40
    It’s a shame to see a talented guy rushed into making the wrong record.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 26
  2. Negative: 3 out of 26
  1. Jun 22, 2014
    10
    This album is amazing! The truth is there are some songs that are not meant for his range but almost very song is extremely true andThis album is amazing! The truth is there are some songs that are not meant for his range but almost very song is extremely true and emotional! If people want something happy then go buy another album! His album is part of him and as fans we must listen to what he's saying not to tell him how we think he must do his albums! Love you Sam! Been a fan since the very beginning! Expand
  2. Jun 20, 2014
    10
    Sam Smith's voice is heaven on earth. It is impossible to not get drawn into the emotion of the songs and impossible to let go once he drawsSam Smith's voice is heaven on earth. It is impossible to not get drawn into the emotion of the songs and impossible to let go once he draws you in. A true soul wonder. Expand
  3. Jun 17, 2014
    9
    I've been waiting for this album for quite some time now having pretty high expectations of Sam Smith and In The Lonely Hour didn'tI've been waiting for this album for quite some time now having pretty high expectations of Sam Smith and In The Lonely Hour didn't disappoint. Sam Smith sounds great throughout the whole album. I quite enjoyed the album and it is definitely worth listening to. For me its one of the standouts of the year and Sam Smith is definitely one of my favorite new artists of 2014. The only criticism i have is that a few of the song sounded quite similar to each other. Other than that In The Lonely Hour is a great album. My favorites include Life Support, I'm Not The Only One, Like I Can, Restart and Money On My Mind. Expand
  4. Dec 25, 2014
    8
    Sam Smith is the male Adele. In the Lonely Hour is an excellent album powered by dextrously written lyrics, heartstrings-pulling vocalSam Smith is the male Adele. In the Lonely Hour is an excellent album powered by dextrously written lyrics, heartstrings-pulling vocal gymnastics, and stirring backup vocals. The best songs combine these three factors spellbindingly - Money On My Mind, Stay With Me, Like I Can, and Life Support. Every other song is also 5-star quality, less Good Thing, Not in That Way, and Lay Me Down (which are still decent songs). Good job Sam Smith! Expand
  5. Jul 14, 2014
    6
    An album that sadly fails on the expectations and greatness of Sam Smith's voice!

    As most, I came across Smith for his features on the duo
    An album that sadly fails on the expectations and greatness of Sam Smith's voice!

    As most, I came across Smith for his features on the duo Disclosure- and Naughty Boy's big hits, "Latch" and "La La La" (respectively), songs he provided his excellent pipes for.
    Aside the brilliant beat use from the two, Sam Smith's angelic soul was a reason to fall in-love with. A voice that lead to push the tracks higher on the charts, and for the many continuously radio plays.
    He was a star in the making, a young man whom critics and fans hailed as pretty much the up-coming of an Adele, in opposite gender though.
    With a couple of great songs and EPs later, it looked heavenly for Sam Smith and his debut LP "In The Lonely Hour".

    Songs such as "Stay With Me" was one of them early ones, and the anticipations for his debut went all sky-rocket. It is a perfect example of a stunning ballad with beautifully layered production behind his on-point lyrics and vocal-delivery about a one night stand Sam wants to hold on till, Smith is a loner.

    While unrequited love, loneliness and sadness is something most people know a thing or two about, too much of it, can hurt on the wrong foot (see: "Like I Can"). Cause past the four-five opening tracks, songs on the second-half becomes all more filler, corny and more of an everlasting long cut of the same-samey.
    Even the second track, "Good Thing" that starts off wonderful with whispery guitar riffs, gripping vocals and catchy melodies, suffers from Hollywood cheesiness on the string department when the bridge kicks in.
    That's most of the album in emotions, it feels like a soul lost in Hollywood, and not the concept record of being the love-letter to the man he loved. Instead we get A-B-C rhymes about "June" and "Spoon" on a track like "Not in That Way".
    The album ends on a sweet and good note though with "Lay Me Down" a track listeners had experience and praise with before and after the release of the album.

    The album feels uncompleted as an overall project, and well yeah the songs flows nicely into each other, it might be because it feels like the other one before that and the next one that plays on. And while we have seen a one-dimensional record hit home before, this did not with it's, at times, mediocre/un-interesting production and it's duds on lyrics and delivery.

    "In The Lonely Hour" is nowhere near being a bad record, in fact it is enjoyable mostly cause of the outstanding voice of Sam Smith, and it is better than most in mainstream pop to come out.
    But that's it, I/we do not want him to be an average musician, a musician to fade away. We expect risks, rawer products and less safe-zone of an album even if it is executed poorly. In the end, at least it will be mentioned and recognized.. and, respectable.
    Sam Smith needs a fresh start, new team or direction to accomplish much more bigger succes, not just in sales but in hearts of sceptics, and fans as I.
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  6. Dec 15, 2014
    5
    Sam Smith's debut album contains some great songs, although it lacks much diversity. Many songs just have a piano and guitar accompaniment.Sam Smith's debut album contains some great songs, although it lacks much diversity. Many songs just have a piano and guitar accompaniment. It's hard to distinguish one song from another on first listen. There are only a few standouts, admittedly, most of them are the singles. I don't think Smith has quite found himself yet. I can't dispute his amazing vocals. I just hope that the second album can show a different side of him. Expand
  7. Jun 21, 2014
    0
    There's far too much hype about this album, it's all over nothing. The opening track is quite possibly one of the worst UK number 1 singlesThere's far too much hype about this album, it's all over nothing. The opening track is quite possibly one of the worst UK number 1 singles ever. It just shows that **** over-hyped, pointless music sells. I wish this album didn't exist. I've heard a cover of the track "Stay with Me" by Florence Welch (Florence + the Machine) and her version is better by miles. As much as this may not help, steer clear of this album, even though it'll probably be amongst the best selling albums of 2014 at the end of the year. As for his Critics Choice win at the BRITs earlier this year, why are there so many mixed/negative reviews if he was the "critics" choice? I personally find that it's not even proper critics that make the choice. Expand

See all 26 User Reviews