This soulful 22-year-old first caught our ears singing on trendy pop-dance hits by Disclosure (‘Latch’) and Naughty Boy (‘La La La’), but on his debut album he’s a firmly middle-of-the-road proposition. To call Cambridgeshire-born Smith a male hybrid of Adele and Emeli Sandé would be reductive, but not entirely misleading.
The frantic drums of recent Number One hit ‘Money on My Mind’ are deceptive; elsewhere Smith trades in the sort of ballad where gently plucked acoustic guitars dovetail with soaring strings, and well-crafted melodies come as standard. New single ‘Stay with Me’ is far more typical of where Smith’s pitching himself.
What makes Smith more Adele than Emeli is his uniformly mournful subject matter. Underneath the production polish, ‘In the Lonely Hour’ is a desperately sad album filled with songs about the ones that got away and the ones that never were. ‘I put everything out there, and I got nothing at all,’ Smith sings with palpable sorrow on ‘Good Thing’.
If it were longer, it might drag, but thanks to a tight half-hour running time, this album is the perfect soundtrack to your next wallow. It’s classy pop music to mope to on the sofa with a cashmere blanket and a bottle of something a bit pricier than you’d normally pick up at Tesco Metro.
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Enfolded within Camden Market, this building may have been a horse hospital at one point in its lifetime, but it certainly ain't an animal refuge any more. The cobbled floors remain, as do the stables, but they've been spruced up and turned into booths. The roof terrace has also been revamped with bright colours and twee bunting. The main space is usually decked with artwork on the walls and also has a stage for live bands. There's a cabaret room on the other side of the venue and, of course, a bar serving up the usual tipples. Club nights here usually feature indie-electro, synth-pop, R&B, hip hop and funk.
Venue says: “From Drizzy to Dizzee, we play you the best in hip hop, trap and grime every Wednesday at Proud Camden.”