• Record Label: Capitol
  • Release Date: Jun 17, 2014
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 111 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 111
  2. Negative: 21 out of 111

Review this album

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. 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 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
    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.
    Expand
  2. Jun 20, 2014
    1
    The hype circulating in this album is enormous. When it first came out, i felt disappointed. Though there are few good songs, there are also "so-so" ones.
  3. Jun 19, 2014
    8
    This is a somber, sobering album that I really enjoyed. It shouldn't have been released in the middle of summer though. It's more of a wintery album, the mood doesn't fit the upbeatness of Summer. That being said, it's a solid piece of work.
  4. 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'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 criticismI'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
  5. Jun 24, 2014
    8
    Easily one of the best albums of the year. He has so much soul and passion when he sings. You can hear the pain and heart ache from his voice and lyrics. His vibe and quality reminds me of the moment I fell in love with Adele. Adele's "Chasing Pavement" was an incredible debut and soon catapulted her to stardom. Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" is a great debut single and stands as a highlightEasily one of the best albums of the year. He has so much soul and passion when he sings. You can hear the pain and heart ache from his voice and lyrics. His vibe and quality reminds me of the moment I fell in love with Adele. Adele's "Chasing Pavement" was an incredible debut and soon catapulted her to stardom. Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" is a great debut single and stands as a highlight of the album. Overall his debut album is wonderful and have an old school vibe, easy listening. Other song stand outs: Lay With Me, Leave Your Lover and Like I Can. Expand
  6. Aug 4, 2014
    10
    you can see, from many of my reviews, that I am a gay man, and with all of that aside, I can honestly say that this is my favorite cd of the year, by far. It is heartfelt, soulful, and with an amazing voice, lyrical, amazing. Of course, I am also proud, and amazed that am openly gay singer can be so mainstream. I truly love every song on this cd, most of the songs are ballads andyou can see, from many of my reviews, that I am a gay man, and with all of that aside, I can honestly say that this is my favorite cd of the year, by far. It is heartfelt, soulful, and with an amazing voice, lyrical, amazing. Of course, I am also proud, and amazed that am openly gay singer can be so mainstream. I truly love every song on this cd, most of the songs are ballads and amazing and the dance beat songs are amazing as well. May I say that when I really choose to feel the songs, that tears well up, because I have had unrequited love as well, not very often, but its happened lol. Expand
  7. 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 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!
  8. Oct 24, 2014
    10
    Soul at its best. It's on repeat 24/7!
    No doubt a new worldwide superstar.
    The Best Album of 2014 released to date.
    Best collection of songs since Adele's 21.
  9. 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 draws you in. A true soul wonder.
  10. 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 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 DownSam 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
  11. 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 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,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 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
  12. 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. 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 secondSam 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
  13. Jun 18, 2014
    0
    I can not get past the first song, and so bad. and as a male Adele in very very bad version. The melodies are terrible, that his voice is so average and its so boring letters. In the Lonely Hour is rubbish, sorry.
  14. Jun 17, 2014
    5
    This heavenly British boy had huge shoes to fill. With a slew of successes in 2013 with Disclosure's "Latch" and Naughty Boy's "La La La", Sam Smith was on a gold-plated road to stardom. Unfortunately, somewhere along that pampered road, Mr. Smith got cocky and fell into the figurative mud puddle of one-dimensional songs. Yes, the man has talent. He has the voice of an angel with the soulThis heavenly British boy had huge shoes to fill. With a slew of successes in 2013 with Disclosure's "Latch" and Naughty Boy's "La La La", Sam Smith was on a gold-plated road to stardom. Unfortunately, somewhere along that pampered road, Mr. Smith got cocky and fell into the figurative mud puddle of one-dimensional songs. Yes, the man has talent. He has the voice of an angel with the soul of a 50s R&B group, but in terms of lyrical themes, he ran out of ideas after two songs.

    Sam Smith is a man who shows that he is "the one". "The one" who will love you and care for you. That's great and all for one or two songs, but don't make 10 tracks dedicated to that. From his lyrics, he seems like the lonely, creepy guy staring through the window of a restaurant while a couple sips wine and laughs. Obviously, he's been through heartbreak. Maybe this album is a dedication to the girl he lost and he's trying to reach out to her. But by following in Coldplay's footsteps of an entire album of "second chances" and "I was wrong, take me back", Sam Smith gets boring fast. He took a giant leap by releasing these songs as his debut album. This album makes an impression of who he really is. The image portrayed through the songs sees Sam as a lost little puppy in a rainstorm, wanting a hug and some hot cocoa.

    However, the songs are catchy enough to sound better than the average pop, incorporating strings, acoustics, and of course, the powerhouse vocals of Sam himself. The only problem is that Sam Smith has fallen into a web of popularity too early. Like a contestant on American Idol, he forced out something that sounds incomplete, or rather, something that lacks personality. We can learn two things about Sam Smith through his debut album: He doesn't "do it for the money", he does it "for the love" and he wants every girl to "leave their lover" for him.

    Sam Smith's career started on a high note. With a phenomenal first EP filled with sensual and savory selections and a few guest appearances that appealed to the masses, he was headed in the right direction. Then he caught the pop star fever and fell hard into mainstream success. It's true that his record sales are impressive, but when the songs being bought need work, is it really worth the hype?

    Check out more music/film review on Facebook @ Impossible Soul Reviews!
    Expand
  15. Jul 30, 2014
    9
    I didn't think singing voices could be as euphoric as chocolate, but In The Lonely Hour is proof that not only is possible, Sam Smith is here to stay, with that heavenly, raw, emotional, powerful, indescribable voice that oozes unrequited love and tales of woe. Yes, at times the, "Oooh, my life sucks because the man I care about does not love me!" act is a bit annoying and the songs are aI didn't think singing voices could be as euphoric as chocolate, but In The Lonely Hour is proof that not only is possible, Sam Smith is here to stay, with that heavenly, raw, emotional, powerful, indescribable voice that oozes unrequited love and tales of woe. Yes, at times the, "Oooh, my life sucks because the man I care about does not love me!" act is a bit annoying and the songs are a bit samey but the good songs on the album (an acoustic version of Latch, Stay With Me, I'm Not The Only One, among others) balance it out. Expand
  16. Jun 17, 2014
    5
    I really like this album but yes, I get really depressed and sad every time i listen to it lol! I wish he could just cheer up because his voice really is good on the upbeat tracks. Sorry Sam. I like you but get happy! :)
  17. Sep 12, 2014
    7
    Hmmm.....I am not sure about this album. I wouldn't say I am amazed. I wouldn't say I am disappointed either.

    Sam Smith's vocals are the best part of this entire record. His voice is so beautiful to hear, whether it's a song played on a guitar or it's an EDM song. You cannot deny Sam Smith's voice is really good and powerful. It really made sense that Sam Smith is really heartbroken
    Hmmm.....I am not sure about this album. I wouldn't say I am amazed. I wouldn't say I am disappointed either.

    Sam Smith's vocals are the best part of this entire record. His voice is so beautiful to hear, whether it's a song played on a guitar or it's an EDM song. You cannot deny Sam Smith's voice is really good and powerful.

    It really made sense that Sam Smith is really heartbroken in this album but I don't know, you can sense that vulnerability in his voice but I just can't get the feels from him and that's the reason why I am not really amazed about this album. But then again, his vocals are the reason why I am not disappointed about this album either. I am on the fence. Nonetheless, I can see why people call him the male version of Adele because the inspiration of Adele's 21 and Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour are similar.

    I really like the tracklist in this album. The song Money In My Mind is a really good song to kickoff this album and it's very different from the rest of the songs because it's not about love or heartbreak. It's about him being signed to a major label which it's quite rare to hear these days. The closing track Lay Me Down is a nice way to close the album in which he talks about his optimism on love after his heartbreak. I am glad he isn't like "Oh no, I will never love again because this guy broke my heart." Well, that is my own interpretation of that song so I am not sure if people agree with me on this.

    The deluxe edition tracks makes this album better in my opinion and it's worth my money. I am so happy that La La La is included in the deluxe edition.

    Overall, I think Sam Smith could do better in this album but this is a really good debut album to kick-off his career.
    Expand
  18. Dec 29, 2014
    10
    Is an incredible album, i can feel all the power of the songs with every play on, great voice, sadness and passion, simply amazing. Sam Smith knows how give us all the feeling that he wants to us. its just perfect
  19. Jan 11, 2015
    4
    Posee una gran voz; pero la desaprovecha cumpliendo las funciones de cómo ser un artista pop de taquilla. Y aunque en "Money on my Mind" él trata de contarnos cómo es que en realidad sólo hace música por el gusto de hacerla, entonces por qué no dedica su gran voz a realizar canciones con un contenido lírico más enriquecedor y con más potencial, en vez de irse al lado popero para no serPosee una gran voz; pero la desaprovecha cumpliendo las funciones de cómo ser un artista pop de taquilla. Y aunque en "Money on my Mind" él trata de contarnos cómo es que en realidad sólo hace música por el gusto de hacerla, entonces por qué no dedica su gran voz a realizar canciones con un contenido lírico más enriquecedor y con más potencial, en vez de irse al lado popero para no ser recordado después de un par de décadas. Es un álbum digno de escuchar si quieres oír una excelente voz; pero si gustas de las típicas tragedias amorosas y/o románticas, este es tu álbum. Expand
  20. Jan 14, 2015
    10
    Sam Smith I will say is simply amazing his songs are so amazing that I wonder if its still music or something else,Like Seriously I 've never seen anything like in the lonely hour in my whole life.
    He's a phenomenon.Surely an influence.
  21. Mar 15, 2015
    6
    This album has great lyrics but I feel that it's just like every other album. Nothing surprising it's all about heartbreak.... Even though this of them has great number one song favorite is stay with me

    OVERALL GRADE 78 C+
    Album feels old
  22. Jul 11, 2014
    8
    Música é feita para mexer com os sentimentos do ser humano. Quais sentimentos são esses? Isso tudo depende, principalmente, de quem ouve e qual o seu estado de espírito que se encontra. Por isso, sempre é necessário deixar a guarda abaixada para ouvir uma canção e deixar se levar pelas emoções expostas pelos artistas. Infelizmente, no atual mundo cada vez mais cínico em que vivemos,Música é feita para mexer com os sentimentos do ser humano. Quais sentimentos são esses? Isso tudo depende, principalmente, de quem ouve e qual o seu estado de espírito que se encontra. Por isso, sempre é necessário deixar a guarda abaixada para ouvir uma canção e deixar se levar pelas emoções expostas pelos artistas. Infelizmente, no atual mundo cada vez mais cínico em que vivemos, estamos sendo transformados em cabeças pensantes destituídas de emoção em razão da massificação que transformam pessoas em seres "brancos" para se misturem perfeitamente na multidão. Uma das "raças" que mais sofrem desse mal são os "críticos": aqueles serem que servem para julgar o trabalho dos outros. Em busca da aceitação pelas cabeças pensantes, muitos esquecem que a música (a arte de uma maneira geral) é feita de emoção e, não, apenas, de razão. Por isso, seus julgamentos estão cada vez mais pautados em detalhes tão elitizados que o fator emoção se perde. Uma lástima abominável.

    Vocês leram essa introdução/desabafo tão grande para que eu possa explicar o que direciona o meu "trabalho" aqui e no blog: emoção. Claro, também preciso dar espaço para a razão, mas não é ela que está no comando no "frigir dos ovos". Então, vocês poderão notar que a critica que segue, provavelmente, deve ser bem distinta do que os "conceituados" críticos vão achar sobre o debut álbum do inglês Sam Smith: In the Lonely Hour é um trabalho muito bom, pois é um trabalho emocionante.

    Sam Smith não quer nada mais que apenas tirar um suspiro ou uma lágrima de quem ouvir sua música. E isso não é problema nenhum já que ele consegue fazer com maestria. Aqui, Sam não está em busca de sentimentos refinados e complicados, mas, sim, ele busca tirar os sentimentos mais primários e simples que um ser humano pode possuir. In the Lonely Hour é sobre corações quebrados, amores frustrados e decepções devastadoras. Nada mais primário que sofrer por amor. Nada mais simples que o amor, pois, em sua complexidade estrutural, ele é igual para todos os seres humanos na face da Terra. Porém, Sam não pretende elevar esses sentimentos aos píncaros da glória como fez a Adele em 21, mas, simplesmente, fazer você apenas sentir essa dor "agridoce" do amor. Como principal compositor, Sam entrega letras magistralmente delicadas, mas com uma emoção verdadeira e tocante. Desde os sentimentos mais platônicos até os mais melancólicos, In the Lonely Hour é uma viagem na mente de um jovem que coloca em músicas as suas experiências. Sincero e sensível. Essas são as principais qualidades das composições, mesmo não sendo trabalhos geniais no que tange a construção, conseguem cumprir seu objetivo com o máximo de louvor. E nada muda o fato que Sam revelou que o álbum foi feito para uma paixão não correspondida dele por outro homem. Amor é amor.

    Emoldurando todo esse turbilhão de emoções, Sam Smith também se mostrar um cantor com um potencial imenso. Ninguém melhor que o próprio autor das composições para interpretá-las, então, por isso, espere performances emocionantes e quase viscerais. Porém, Sam segue um caminho interessante ao entregar essas emoções de maneira contida, intimista e delicada deixando as canções mais leves sem cair no dramalhão desnecessário. Com ajuda de seu belíssimo tom, Sam entrega momentos inspirados como, por exemplo, em Lay Me Down, aqui em uma versão diferente do que foi lançada como single, em que a produção, aliada com os vocais magníficos de Sam, criam um trabalho impressionante trabalhando com as nuances e um clímax de tirar o fôlego. Infelizmente, nem tudo são elogios para In the Lonely Hour. O álbum é basicamente um trabalho pop com inspiração soul em que a produção faz um trabalho correto e bem, mas careta em sua sonoridade, sem apresentar nada de novo ou mais ousado. Ao menos, a produção acerta o tom das faixas ajudando positivamente o resultado final. Outros momentos de destaque, além do já citado, do álbum são Stay With Me, Leave Your Lover, Not In That Way e Make It To Me. O que eu não entendi é a canção Money On My Mind, a grande bola fora do CD. Contudo, o que importa aqui é que Sam Smith fez um álbum para ser ouvido de coração aberto. E que bom que tem ainda pessoas capazes de produzir esse tipo de trabalho sem se importar com as opiniões de críticos. Inclusive essa, que nada mais é que apenas mais uma opinião. Honesta, mas apenas mais uma.
    Expand
  23. Jun 17, 2014
    9
    An album as good as Adele's 21, although he sins a little instrumentation which makes very clear in some songs. Hear the album 3 times then to able to enjoy a bit of everything, and arrived at the conclusion that yes, it could have been a flawless album, but it seems that it was all done hastily (but
    we know that not). However, the instrumentation is not bad. You can travel on letters and
    An album as good as Adele's 21, although he sins a little instrumentation which makes very clear in some songs. Hear the album 3 times then to able to enjoy a bit of everything, and arrived at the conclusion that yes, it could have been a flawless album, but it seems that it was all done hastily (but
    we know that not). However, the instrumentation is not bad. You can travel on letters and forget everything. Lyrically yes, the album climbs fairly on the thermometer. The album can not be all that - one 21 by Adele - but it is an album of Sam, and he is very good at it. He can grow more and more, and can make a better future album. We know he can!
    Expand
  24. Feb 18, 2015
    6
    In the Lonely Hour undoubtedly is not worthy of four Grammy awards, but that does not mean that is drawn according as bad record.
    The album begins with the disappointing confused Money On My Mind. And from there becomes reasonable, no more than that, diving into ballads with a touch of soul and making a sort of male version of Adele in "Like i can."
    The vocals of Sam, although they are
    In the Lonely Hour undoubtedly is not worthy of four Grammy awards, but that does not mean that is drawn according as bad record.
    The album begins with the disappointing confused Money On My Mind. And from there becomes reasonable, no more than that, diving into ballads with a touch of soul and making a sort of male version of Adele in "Like i can."
    The vocals of Sam, although they are based on female vocals, still manage to bring some excitement to the album.
    Nothing more than a confused record, and far short of expectations for someone with talent like Sam.
    Expand
  25. Apr 18, 2015
    9
    The album is great! Sam Smith pleased everyone with the passion he shows when he sings. Everyone can relate to his songs. He has a wonderful voice and he's using it right! Obviously it is one of the best albums from 2014.
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Jul 2, 2014
    60
    In The Lonely Hour starts promisingly.... The second half declines into self-pity, windy balladry and squeaky-strings-as-authenticity cliche. [Aug 2014, p.110]
  2. Jun 23, 2014
    58
    In the Lonely Hour is less meaningless and vapid than a song as unapologetically hammy as “Classic,” but the result is unfortunately the same.
  3. Jun 20, 2014
    70
    Where Smith will follow his muse next is anyone’s guess, but for now, his talent is a clear force to be reckoned with and his debut is ripe with promise.