By Janeal Downs
Artists either want you to think they are in the music industry because it is their passion or because they want money and the fame. Sam Smith tries to convince listeners that he is in it because he loves it, with the first song of his 2014 album “Money on My Mind.” This radio friendly song with its upbeat tempo and repeated phrase of “money on my mind,” does not make his idea too believable. However, with his gloriously fantastic voice, I will pretend to believe anything Sam Smith sings. If nothing good lasts forever, I hope at least great things do. With his song “Good Thing,” I am convinced Smith is a great thing. If you have not heard “Stay With Me” yet then I highly recommend you crawl from under your rock and listen to this man’s song. This album is proof that Sam Smith cannot be a one hit or few hit wonder, and I’d put money on that.
I absolutely loved the song “Leave Your Lover,” though it did remind me of Frank Ocean’s song, “Thinking Bout You.” It was similar not because they sound the same, but because both songs do a great job of not saying if it is directed to a man or a woman (not that it matters.) “I’m Not the Only One” is a song that unfortunately many people can relate to. A song of an unfaithful partner is not something new, but Smith’s beautiful vocal range makes him versatile in a way that is new in today’s pop culture. Smith’s album could put the most insomnia racked bitter old man to sleep and I mean that in the best way possible. With his voice songs like “I’ve Told You Now,” “Like I Can” and “Life Support” can truly relax the soul. Smith is the kind of artist who does not need music in the background, as his voice is all of the music. Recall when Whitney Houston sang “I Will Always Love You” acapella at the beginning of her music video. Sam Smith could definitely achieve the same effect.
Another relatable song on the album is “Not in That Way,” which is about loving someone who does not love you back. With his otherworldly voice, I cannot imagine why someone would not love Sam Smith back. I hope his personality matches the loveliness of his voice. Smith ended “In the Lonely Hour” with “Lay Me Down.” As I listened to this song I felt a sense of sadness overcome me because I knew it was at the end, and I would have to wait for a new album. I then began to imagine all of the people I would love to see Smith collaborate with while waiting for his next album. This is how a great album ends. It is like a show. You do not want to be waiting impatiently for the season to end, but almost crying when you have to wait for new episodes.
I do not know how old Sam Smith is but I cannot possibly imagine the reason for why it has taken him so long to honor the world with his voice. If you have listened to him, you will know I am not over exaggerating. Whether Sam Smith belongs in the R&B, hip-hop or pop genre, I’m not sure. One thing I do know is that the world has been waiting on some new and true talent for way too long.