Review: Sam Smith – In The Lonely Hour & Nirvana

samsmithIt was bound to happen. You know how much I love music and how much I obsess over stuff like that and a simple search on my blogs will reveal the ugly truth: I am so enamored.

I just love the tenderness and the sadness and the loneliness in Sam Smith‘s gorgeous, full voice, and his album is exquisite, at least for a debut album that came out of nowhere.

As someone who felt pain at some point in her life, this album is spot on. The lyrics have a maturity I am not able to express when talking about love, the music is this great combination of orchestra, jazz, blues, soul and sincerity, and Sam’s voice is so overwhelming, I can’t seem to listen to anything else. It’s been almost a month since the release of In The Lonely Hour and it’s still the only thing I listen to.

Money On My Mind is so dancey, omg! The RnB beat is strong with this one. The blue eyed soul voice of Mr. Smith does great justice to this awesome beast of a song. The lyrics are simple, of course, but the emotions are never anything but complicated with Sam Smith, so the song is a great start of an awesome album. (10/10)

Good Thing is the second song from In The Lonely Hour and, as much as I can say that Money On My Mind is a great opener, and that I dislike La La La with all my ears, this one is the most meh song from the album. Yes, I like the lyrics, but the constant screeching of the guitar, and the hum-dum of the drum cannot hide the mediocrity of Good Thing. (5/10)

Stay With Me is probably the song I bugged you with the most. It’s so perfect in its simplicity and honesty, and I can see myself dancing at my wedding (lol) on this beautiful piece of love story. Hope, dreams, patience, respect. Love. It has them. (20/10)

Leave Your Lover is my current obsession and the song that made me want to write the review. I must’ve listened to it 100 times yesterday, on my way back home. This plea is so full of hope, yet so realistically sad, so sincere and depressing, it will forever send chills down my spine. Sam Smith‘s vocals on this song are truly amazing, he makes me see that orange sunset-y color all around me whenever I hear this song. (12/10)

I’m Not The Only One – I never know what this song is about. I guess Good Thing has competition in a mediocrity contest with this one, but for me, it’s just „skipskipskip” whenever this song is on. (5/10)

I’ve Told You Now seems to be the spoiled kid’s response to the one thing he cannot have. The beat of the song blends with the bratty voice Sam Smith employs on this piece, and I gotta say I love the determined attitude on I’ve Told You Now. (8.5/10)

Like I Can comes with the 90s vibe, with a guitar that never breaks the rhythm, with a drum that follows a secret road inside the singer’s heart with such accuracy, it’s heart warming. I just love the song for all the positive vibe it sends me and I can imagine some matured Spice Girls singing this one with great success. (9/10)

Life Support will forever be a favorite of mine. The dependency, the kleptomaniac feeling this song induces me is overwhelming. This is the dark side of Sam Smith and it is gorgeous as ever. Also, the hip hop beats blend with his cries for help and love so perfectly, I feel like crying just thinking about Life Support. (10/10)

Not In That Way – I’ll come back after I’m done crying. This song will bring you to your knees, believe you me. Not In That Way is exactly what it appears to be – a ballad about an unrequited love story. It has raw emotion, raw sadness, sincerity, and when Mr. Smith says „You will never know that feeling / You will never see through these eyes” it’s truly gut wrenching and it makes me stand still waiting for the sorrow to stop.(11/10)

Lay Me Down is one of my favorite songs of the album (I know it feels like I’m saying this about every song from In The Lonely Hour, it is not true!). Another request, a sensible request, of course, from Mr. Smith. Got to love his vocal mastery on this piece. His voice conveys hope and hurt and a plea for happiness, all the while trying to hold it together. (10/10)

Restart – so 90s, so dancey and groovy, can’t help but loving it! I dunno what makes me love this song – its simplicity, or the vintage vibe it sends, but I never skip it. (9/10)

Latch – this is, I guess, the third Sam Smith song I heard, the Disclosure version, of course, and I was forever hooked. The acoustic version, however, is so much better. It has pure emotions and Sam Smith has this eerie voice, like he’s in another plane, where only love and happiness exist. That plane must be awesome, because this song, with its violins, is so beautiful, it can only spell love. (12/10)

La La La – oh, well, I must admit I hated this one. So badly! Omg, I can’t even listen to it now. Yes, Mr. Smith has an awesome voice, but the La La La part just brings me down. The La La La part sung by the kid, of course. I also don’t like the video, so that adds to the sum of factors that make me skip this patience challenge of mine. (7/10)

Make It To Me is, again, one of the most beautiful live songs of the album. Simple, this piano driven tune is so frickin’ gorgeous and hopeful, and Sam Smith’s voice is so conveying, carrying the emotion beyond ear buds and stereo speakers and into my achy breaky heart. (10/10)

Safe With Me – because Mr. Smith experiments also and because why not. I am unsure how to describe this one, even if it’s intoxicating and so RnB, I can’t even begin to describe the whole feeling to you! It’s like Timbaland came and put his little Midas finger on Sam Smith and stuff happened. (12/10)

Together – because Disclosure is always a good idea. I gotta say I love this combination of soul and funk and electro, I only see green neon lights whenever this song hits my ears. (10/10)

Nirvana is the second song I heard from Mr. Smith, and I’ve been hooked on him ever since (the first one was La La La and you already know my opinion on it). So slick, so 70s, so reactive – so addictive! And the vocals – oh my god the vocals are so truly sexy and sensual and promising! Very good job, Mr Smith! (12/10)

The whole album, along with the Nirvana EP, brings me peace, and love, and hope. Sam Smith’s voice is a sweet medicine that mends broken hearts, and his lyrics, while simple, are sincere and upfront. I will never tire of listening to his music, I can tell. If only I could see him live…


Happy Birthday to some people…

Azi e ziua unor oameni mari. Ladies and gents, I give you Giles! Pentru cunoscătorii fini, e Anthony (Stewart) Head. Pentru cei mai puțin fini, e Giles din Buffy. Pentru restul, e „cine-i ăsta?”. (Împlinește doar 58 de ani, wow!)

Also, Kurt Cobain.

Also, Rihanna.

Happy B-day

Azi le spunem La Mulți Ani! lui Dave Grohl (pentru cine nu știe – Impossibru! – a fost toboșar la Nirvana, acum e de toate în Foo Fighters și toboșar la Them Crooked Vultures) și lui Caleb Followill (fost băiat de popă, actualmente soț de model, lead singer și chitarist la Kings of Leon).

Dave e omul bun la toate, se pare, și are mai multă energie 42 de ani decât am avut eu toată viața.

Caleb e ușor alcoolic, cum îi stă bine unui star tânăr, și se pare că înnebunesc femeile când îl văd.

Istoria muzicii in viata mea

Eram mica-mica, si sincer nu mai tin minte ce ascultam cand eram bebelus, dar pot ghici ca muzica din casa era un Beatles combinat cu o Janis Joplin si cu The Doors, poate putin de tot Led Zeppelin.
Am mai crescut si, in tumultul de cantece semi-comuniste, semi-ABBA-wannabe, de genul Dida Dragan, Madalina Manole, Catalin Crisan, etc (ascultate pe la TV, ca mama nu dadea banii pe ele), in tumultul, cum ziceam, format de aceste cantece, eu ascultam Elvis Presley si Pet Shop Boys, Michael Jackson, Sandra, Beatles (again), Elton John, Smokie, The Cure si multi altii pe care mintea mea de copil nu reausea sa-i distinga sau sa-i tina minte. Ah, si Queen. Cum am putut sa uit de Queen? Si AC/DC?

Mbuun… Anii au trecut, generala a venit si ea peste mine, cu generatia anilor ’90, cu blugi din ce in mai scurti, cu Coco Jambo si Spice Girls si mai ales cu blugi. De cate ori ma gandesc la perioada aia, observ ca n-am ramas cu mai nimic in urma, decat cu Tori Amos si cu Puff Daddy-P Diddy-Diddy. Cam atat. Am mai ramas cu vreo 2 formatii de baieti frumosi, ulterior dovediti gay (cel putin cate unul din fiecare formatie), cu Nirvana si cam atat.

S-a apropiat cu pasi vertiginosi capacitatea, cu senzatia aia de insuficienta pe care ti-o inspira trecerea timpului si faptul ca ajungi aproape de un sfarsit. Am avut-o pe Britney in viata mea, dar eu nu puteam decat sa fac misto de ea. Pentru ca Blink si Green Day si Offspring si alte formatii rebele isi faceau loc pe langa mine.

De aici totul pluteste in indecis, pentru ca am inceput sa ascult de toate, cu precadere, fara sa aleg. Au trecut toate prin mana mea, pana la liceu. Moby, Blink, Smokie din nou,  Elvis din nou, Pet Shop Boys din nou, am experimentat cu formatii din anii 50 si 60, fara sa mai retin nume, apoi m-am indreptat fara sa ma uit in reggae. Amalgam si poezie, in fiecare din ei era ceva frumos.

A venit liceul, cu putine dragosti de genul Backstreet Boys, probabil din dorinta de a  apartine, dar s-au dus repede scainteile respective. M-am reorientat spre folk, ba chiar am si cantat (am avut o tentativa, ce e drept esuata), in timp ce acasa ascultam Blink si Anouk si femei cu atitudine, apoi incet-incet Metallica si alte chestii mai „hard”. I wanted to be badass.

Au urmat o gramada de formatii suparate si mai putin suparate, a descoperit mama Nightwish-ul si Rammstein (eu le stiam, dar nu ma dadeam in vant dupa ele). Le ascultam pe astea pe-acasa, apoi tot felul de chestii dubioase, gen Apocalyptica, Ozzy, Children of Boddom, Cradle Of Filth, Sepultura, Samael, Slayer, Deftones, Korn, Disturbed, Evanescence, Mudvayne, Slipknot, System Of a Down, Moonspell, Amorphis, Anathema, The Gathering, Lacrimosa, Lake Of Tears, Katatonia, Paradise Lost, Sentenced, Tiamat, Lacuna Coil, Godsmack. My god, that was MANY.

Probabil pentru ca erau atat de multe, intr-un timp atat de scurt, am revenit la sentimente mai pasnice, foarte repede, si m-am reprofilat. M-am linistit, m-am calmat, l-am descoperit pe Manson, l-am ascultat foarte mult si ma linistea. Mamei ii placea si ei Mason, chiar foarte mult. Si mai mult decat muzica, ii placea persoana lui – mereu i s-a parut ca e un om care a suferit mult. Eu nu vedeam problema chiar asa, dar nu mai conteaza.  Crescusem, si se vedea asta. Mi-am dat seama ca unii artisti pot fi buni, chiar daca ei canta aberatii. Apoi am descoperit ca Pink are voce, Christina Aguilera la fel, Shakira imi placea de prin clasa a 7-a. Nici acum nu inteleg de ce ele canta niste porcarii, cand au voci foarte bune. Probabil la mijloc e banul. Se cam termina si liceul, se cam termina si inspiratia mea in materie de muzica. Pe la sfarsitul liceului, Madonna revolutionase putin situatia, dar n-a durat mult. Au mai fost cateva melodii pop si r’n’b, probabil din criza de timp. Manson. Elvis. Beatles. Queen. Red Hot chilli Peppers. Muse. Matchbox 20. Placebo. Stereophonics. Cateva balade folk. Cateva cantece de dragoste. The Cure. Ceva electronic. Faithless. Basement Jaxx. Moby. Hooverphonic. Cam atat.

Despartirea de liceu a fost brusca. Am intrat intr-o alta tonalitate, s-a dus totul foarte repede, a venit Maroon 5 si a facut ravagii. Inca mai fac, ce sa zic. A venit Natasha Bedingfield, care mi-a copiat coafura de atunci. Alte melodii r’n’b si pop, la un loc cu Guano Apes si Jason Mraz, recent descoperit pe Yahoo Music. Vreun an am stagnat asa, pentru ca aparuse bardul-soldat James Blunt, si eram indragostita de el.

Apoi am descoperit altii ca el, de obicei mai buni. Ma trezeam dimineata cu The Killers. God, ce bine era! Ma trezeam, ca doar la 5 dimineata dadeau aia de pe Atomic videoclipul la Mr. Brightside. Si dansam! Mama, ce mai dansam pe el! Some people called me „hippie” cause of that. Those people introduced me to Poets Of The Fall.

M-am transferat la Bucuresti. Greu, a fost greu cu adaptarea. Stateam in casa si ascultam Jason Mraz si Gavin DeGraw si The Killers si James Blunt si si James Morrison si Maroon 5 si Manson la maxim. Static X si Disturbed. Angels & Airwaves. +44. Se despartise Blink. The Fray. Missy Higgins si Paolo Nutini. Green Day – album nou. Snow Patrol – obsesie noua. Greu, nene. Greu. Mult timp am dus-o asa – pana la prima vara din anul ala. Si apoi a venit noul album Maroon 5 si noul album Joss Stone. Si Mika, sa nu uitam de Mika! Si era asa frumos, si aveam fuste lungi, si le taraiam prin praf. Era cald, ce sa zic. A fost concert cu Manson in anul ala. Anul trecut am fost la Depeche Mode. Am uitat sa zic, si mi-e lene sa editez. Foarte tari, profesionalisti amandoi. Am respectat cuvintele mamei: sa ma duc mereu la concerte.

Alt timp, alta distractie. A trecut un timp, in care nu mai stiu ce-am ascultat, a fost o nebuloasa in mintea mea. Inca vreun an, dupa aia am reinceput sa redescopar alte muzici din liceu. Portishead. Hooverphonic. Moloko, cu Roisin Murphy. Pulp. The Verve. Oasis din nou. Muse din nou. Toate formatiile de brit pop uitate si aruncate prin fundul hardului. Ceasars. Liquido. Descoperiri relativ noi. Damien Rice. Rooney. Fall Out Boy. Sick Puppies. The All American Rejects. Apoi iarasi Tori Amos. Tracy Chapman pana la refuz. Three Doors Down. Velvet Revolver. One Republic. Matchbox 20 din nou. Vanessa Carlton. Vank. Travis, sa nu uitam de Travis. Descoperim side projects de la altii buni. Unele bune, altele nu. Bif Naked – din Buffy. Sarah McLachlan – tot din Buffy. Vega4. The Reindeer Section. Rufus Wainwright. The Knife. Stereophonics, uitati de prin liceu. Amy Winehouse si Duffy. The Darkness, Santogold, MGMT, White Lies. Mark Ronson. Kings Of Leon. The Cure din nou. Anouk din nou. Cate putin din fiecare. Si tot mult mi se pare…