sam smith: another adele/emeli sandé or something more interesting?

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pB-5XG-DbAA

he's been hyped as the next big thing since the disclosure and naughty boy records hit uk airwaves over the past couple of years, and this year he has perhaps predictably smashed in the uk with two #1 singles and his debut lp currently sitting at #1 in its second week on the albums chart. meanwhile, following "la la la" and "latch" both belatedly becoming top 20 hits in the us in recent months (with the latter still rising) and "stay with me" fast-tracking its way up radio playlists into the top 10 (partly aided by clear channel's payola "on the verge" promotion), it appears he's slated for big things on this side of the pond too. the album releases stateside in a few days and hits sez it'll probably come in at #2 behind lana del rey's.

so obviously his commercial prospects are bright, but is he any good? or is he just yet another artist initially straddling dance and r&b before being revealed as the next iteration in 'new boring'? i don't love "stay with me" but i don't hate it either, and the track of his that was posted in the summer jams thread is actually pretty nice. for now i put him in a similar category to mnek in that despite having done some compelling stuff, often with other artists, his potential as a solo act remains mysterious to me.

but what say you?

dyl, Friday, 13 June 2014 17:57 (three years ago) Permalink

The amount of leeway ILM gives not to pop (which is a good thing) but music which is nakedly designed to make a few people very rich (which only incidentally crosses over with pop) is somewhat depressing. This is obviously a load of horseshit (I'm listening to it, stifling hara-kiri) and not even interesting as a mass-cultural phenomenon. Just say no, ILM, find something else to listen to.

Who whom kissed? (imago), Friday, 13 June 2014 18:01 (three years ago) Permalink

I'll say that it was momentarily catchy - I'm listening to something else, so have forgotten it - but while it was playing, it mined an incredibly simple chord-progression (that we wouldn't need goon tie to expose), used incredibly hackneyed (and annoying) gospel chorus tricks to add a bit of whoa-ohh, and generally did all it could to appease a short attention span and a cloyingly generalised sentiment. A song for all those who want a lover to stay with them, without nuance, complexity or ambiguity - just the words 'stay with me', on a sad chord progression, on a human face, forever! Buy my singles that so thuddingly compartmentalise your lives into easy-to-access emotional boxes!

Fuck all art like this.

Who whom kissed? (imago), Friday, 13 June 2014 18:14 (three years ago) Permalink

"music which is nakedly designed to make a few people very rich"

the line here probably does not fall where you think it does

katherine, Friday, 13 June 2014 18:50 (three years ago) Permalink

I mean, I know I have tendencies towards dismissing entire swathes of music as chum for hordes of idiots but I like to flatter myself into thinking that I express these opinions in a manner that doesn't make me come across like a total jackass who is less interested in music and more interested in being a smart tastemaker

Star Gentle Uterus (DJP), Friday, 13 June 2014 18:54 (three years ago) Permalink

sam smith: another adele/emeli sandé or something more interesting?

the first one

but is he any good? or is he just yet another artist initially straddling dance and r&b before being revealed as the next iteration in 'new boring'?

the second one

TMI@JFC.U_U (wins), Friday, 13 June 2014 18:54 (three years ago) Permalink

this guy suuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. "Latch" has been p much my least favorite track to hear out clubbing and I figured out how the chorus of "Stay With Me" went before I even heard it

The Reverend, Friday, 13 June 2014 18:57 (three years ago) Permalink

just putting this here without comment:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1134509/City-banker-sacked-spending-company-time-sons-pop-dream.html

katherine, Friday, 13 June 2014 18:58 (three years ago) Permalink

haha wait, what

Star Gentle Uterus (DJP), Friday, 13 June 2014 19:00 (three years ago) Permalink

(re: Sam Smith, I think he's got a great voice and I hope that one day he finds a song more interesting than the ones he's currently singing)

Star Gentle Uterus (DJP), Friday, 13 June 2014 19:01 (three years ago) Permalink

lol xps

Johnny Fever, Friday, 13 June 2014 19:02 (three years ago) Permalink

wow no way

goole, Friday, 13 June 2014 19:03 (three years ago) Permalink

I'll admit I like some of his songs, like maybe a third of his album is good. Both "La La La" and "Money On My Mind" are obnoxious as hell though.

Herbie Handcock (Murgatroid), Friday, 13 June 2014 20:00 (three years ago) Permalink

lmao

macklin' rosie (crüt), Friday, 13 June 2014 20:16 (three years ago) Permalink

thank u katherine

macklin' rosie (crüt), Friday, 13 June 2014 20:16 (three years ago) Permalink

it's the daily mail so I am sure certain aspects of this are exaggerated, but still. there was even a video for one of his early songs but it has dropped off the internet, maybe the last copy. also I didn't find this

katherine, Friday, 13 June 2014 20:19 (three years ago) Permalink

sam smith is terrible (in a very boring way, in a that-mail-story-makes-total-sense way) but those lj posts are worse

lex pretend, Friday, 13 June 2014 20:58 (three years ago) Permalink

lol ok the first post is vmic but i stand by the second one

Who whom kissed? (imago), Friday, 13 June 2014 20:59 (three years ago) Permalink

Latch is great but it's goodness doesn't have much to do with Sam Smith.

the joke should be over once the kid is eaten. (chap), Friday, 13 June 2014 21:03 (three years ago) Permalink

I think Sande could write better and more exciting songs than the ones she chooses to sing, I don't think this guy has "Next To Me" in him never mind a "Heaven". Also if he doesn't have "money on his mind" and "does it for the love" then all his music should be free.

boxedjoy, Friday, 13 June 2014 21:05 (three years ago) Permalink

The UK has artists like Jessie Ware, MNEK, Katy B, Disclosure but they keep trying to send and promote to the US stuff like Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sande and now this dude.

Greer, Friday, 13 June 2014 21:26 (three years ago) Permalink

yeah my beef is entirely with the artless pricks in the latter group, not the artists in the former. surely a defensible position?

Who whom kissed? (imago), Friday, 13 June 2014 21:30 (three years ago) Permalink

'artless' as shorthand for 'i deeply suspect their motivations to be corporate'

Who whom kissed? (imago), Friday, 13 June 2014 21:31 (three years ago) Permalink

I figured out how the chorus of "Stay With Me" went before I even heard it

― The Reverend, Friday, June 13, 2014 2:57 PM (2 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah i got a couple bars into it and went wait, this is just "I Won't Back Down" by Tom Petty

some dude, Friday, 13 June 2014 21:56 (three years ago) Permalink

"The UK has artists like Jessie Ware, MNEK, Katy B, Disclosure but they keep trying to send and promote to the US stuff like Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sande and now this dude."

to be fair, in my experience, US audiences (that is, people who do not post on ilx) tend to think the first group is uninspiring to actively awful, even when exposed to them -- except, lately, disclosure, and I wouldn't necessarily have called that.

katherine, Friday, 13 June 2014 21:56 (three years ago) Permalink

it's chicken and egg, in other words -- do people really, really like sam smith because that's the guy they're promoting, or are they promoting sam smith because that's the stuff people really, really like?

katherine, Friday, 13 June 2014 21:57 (three years ago) Permalink

Pretty obviously the latter IMO

Star Gentle Uterus (DJP), Friday, 13 June 2014 22:02 (three years ago) Permalink

Fair point. The latter certainly do appeal to the sensibilities of adult contemporary listeners more than the former do.

Greer, Friday, 13 June 2014 22:02 (three years ago) Permalink

I have a stereotype in my head of who is into Jessie J and it doesn't match my stereotype of adult contemporary listeners. (Granted, this is largely because the biggest Jessie J fan I know is my gay sister-in-law, who now that I think of it is hugely into Cyndi Lauper as well so maybe I need to interrogate my stereotypes a little more closely)

Star Gentle Uterus (DJP), Friday, 13 June 2014 22:26 (three years ago) Permalink

lol i think that further piece of information doesn't exactly throw a wrench into it

mattresslessness, Friday, 13 June 2014 22:45 (three years ago) Permalink

poor choice of metaphor tbh

mattresslessness, Friday, 13 June 2014 22:49 (three years ago) Permalink

when someone young can pull off a nostalgic old soul vibe that appeals to moms and dads and grandparents, that's a license to print money (Josh Groban, Norah Jones, etc.). if that artist also appeals to some listeners their own age, doubly so (Adele, Alicia Keys, etc.).

some dude, Friday, 13 June 2014 22:52 (three years ago) Permalink

I intensely dislike his voice. Dud.

...and the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, axe and SAW! (Turrican), Friday, 13 June 2014 23:18 (three years ago) Permalink

i like "La La La" because the lyrics of the song fit his weird trembly baby voice

some dude, Friday, 13 June 2014 23:39 (three years ago) Permalink

that's very insightful re: norah jones, alicia keys, etc. and i'm sure that phenomenon is at play here. at the same time tho i never would have guessed he'd have this amount of appeal among ppl his own age in america since, despite his hip dance track appearances, he's rather unstylish unlike adele and alicia

dyl, Saturday, 14 June 2014 00:35 (three years ago) Permalink

I intensely dislike his voice. Dud.

gotta say this was a shock

arid banter (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 14 June 2014 00:37 (three years ago) Permalink

Latch is great but it's goodness doesn't have much to do with Sam Smith.

Not much, maybe, but some. Most everything else I've heard from him gives me major meh if not outright zzzzz, but if his star ascending is what it takes to turn "Latch" (which, again, I find myself on the exact opposite side of the spectrum from Rev when it comes to what I want to hear in clubs) into a surprise, belated hit in the U.S., so be it.

Cronk's Not Cronk (Eric H.), Saturday, 14 June 2014 00:46 (three years ago) Permalink

The amount of leeway ILM gives not to pop (which is a good thing) but music which is nakedly designed to make a few people very rich (which only incidentally crosses over with pop)

― Who whom kissed? (imago), Friday, 13 June 2014 19:01 (Yesterday)

this is a fairly serious false binary, also invites speculation as to which luminaries didn't suffer the taint of trade somewhere behind them

sam smith is despicable

Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln (nakhchivan), Saturday, 14 June 2014 00:46 (three years ago) Permalink

I liked some of the stuff he did before the album ("safe with me", the disclosure / naughty boy features), but his sandéfication has been really dismaying and has played out so inevitably and inexorably. idk if that's who he always wanted to be or if the label pushed him that way and he just doesn't care because now he's getting $$.

one ancillary issue that i'm sort of glad has been cleared up to be a non-issue is that he was finally able to have his "coming out" moment in the "lover to lover" video. it seemed like pronouns were being used very carefully and the issue was being tiptoed around in the first couple of singles and videos even though it was this massive elephant in the room. are there any other gay pop stars currently in their prime that are as commercially successful as this guy?

i don't know how much to read into the stuff with his mum. he certainly wouldn't be the first pop star to have a pushy, wealthy parent.

ginuwine's cousin (monotony), Saturday, 14 June 2014 00:50 (three years ago) Permalink

this is a fairly serious false binary, also invites speculation as to which luminaries didn't suffer the taint of trade somewhere behind them

sam smith is despicable

― Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln (nakhchivan), Saturday, June 14, 2014 12:46 AM (6 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

wasn't meant to be a binary. there's a heavy intersection, as I said, but 'pop' is the artistic process, whereas venal careerist cunts like sam smith who nominally trade in 'pop' are the charmless exploiter-figures who happen to have colonised *part* of pop & i have no idea why ILM pays them any serious attention at all, except as case-studies of stardom-seeking privileged above artistic creation (another phenomenon of our times!)

Who whom kissed? (imago), Saturday, 14 June 2014 00:58 (three years ago) Permalink

i'm aware that in saying that i probably strike discord with the majority of you stardom-junkies. something to be said for 'pop' incorporating stardom, performance etc as well - i receive it perhaps on overly musicological terms

Who whom kissed? (imago), Saturday, 14 June 2014 01:03 (three years ago) Permalink

he's a boring performer and his stardom is irritating. there, happy?

Who whom kissed? (imago), Saturday, 14 June 2014 01:03 (three years ago) Permalink

the bar for being the subject of a moderately well attended ILM thread is pretty damn low. as it should be. the idea that there should be a lofty cred test barrier of entry for being the topic of conversation around here is ludicrous.

some dude, Saturday, 14 June 2014 01:04 (three years ago) Permalink

eh, I'm kinda happy for this thread to exist so long as it's wall-to-wall abuse tbh, which it basically has been. kiu

Who whom kissed? (imago), Saturday, 14 June 2014 01:08 (three years ago) Permalink

yeah but you have lots of threads to abuse us in

some dude, Saturday, 14 June 2014 01:13 (three years ago) Permalink

how many pop threads do I wade into, all moron guns blazing semi-informedly? that's right - only the ones whose perpetrating artists are rudely emblazoned on every other fucking metro advert i see. and haim. ;)

Who whom kissed? (imago), Saturday, 14 June 2014 01:15 (three years ago) Permalink

haim had quite a lot of metro adverts here too, tbf

Who whom kissed? (imago), Saturday, 14 June 2014 01:15 (three years ago) Permalink

i'll probably end up kinda liking haim in ten years, yknow. they're a world apart from the horror of sam smith

Who whom kissed? (imago), Saturday, 14 June 2014 01:17 (three years ago) Permalink

wasn't meant to be a binary. there's a heavy intersection, as I said, but 'pop' is the artistic process, whereas venal careerist cunts like sam smith who nominally trade in 'pop' are the charmless exploiter-figures who happen to have colonised *part* of pop & i have no idea why ILM pays them any serious attention at all, except as case-studies of stardom-seeking privileged above artistic creation (another phenomenon of our times!)

― Who whom kissed? (imago), Saturday, June 14, 2014 12:58 AM (16 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I have limited interest in this guy (though I am intrigued that andy k appears to like his album) but I think the idea that all these pop stars who veer adult-contemporary are just soulless corporate hacks is itself a product of wishful thinking about what our generation (in the broad sense) is "into", as if this sound can only be the product of corporate perversion of artistic intentions.

I fully believe that Smith is making the music he wants to make, and is being "true" to himself in a way that recording a whole album with Disclosure/Naughty Boy etc. would not be.

I'm just not dying with anticipation to hear the result.

Tim F, Saturday, 14 June 2014 01:24 (three years ago) Permalink

venal careerist cunts like sam smith who nominally trade in 'pop' are the charmless exploiter-figures who happen to have colonised *part* of pop

case-studies of stardom-seeking privileged above artistic creation (another phenomenon of our times!)

none of these terms seem to make a lot of structural sense, art vs non art, non venal vs venal pop stars, careerist vs non careerist pop stars, the pop world which is colonized vs that part of it where its autochthons get along really well with one other, sam smith's debilities occur at the level of talent, the rest is implying dark motives and hideous character defects to one dumb looking face

i like your attack but it's too conspiratorial in this instance

Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln (nakhchivan), Saturday, 14 June 2014 01:26 (three years ago) Permalink

"to coin a phrase, sam is just a 'rebel without a clue'"

tylerw, Thursday, 29 January 2015 15:46 (two years ago) Permalink

florida man is gracious

goole, Thursday, 29 January 2015 17:46 (two years ago) Permalink

this kid is very dumb but his music is good!

― J0rdan S., Wednesday, January 28, 2015 11:44 AM (Yesterday)

his music is dumb too, it's very obvious in a lot of ways, but it sort of works. i ain't mad

k3vin k., Thursday, 29 January 2015 17:53 (two years ago) Permalink

Even if you overlook the basic misogyny there it's a particularly galling example of unjustified rockism.

― Matt DC, Wednesday, January 28, 2015 8:09 AM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Not really. I mean, he is all of 20. He is exactly the right age for that sort of rockist attitude.

(What would be justified rockism?)

Greer, Thursday, 29 January 2015 18:38 (two years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I only just heard/saw this for the first time, but I feel like white pop singers using gospel choirs in their songs should have ended a long time ago, a terrible cliche.

walid foster dulles (man alive), Monday, 16 February 2015 06:47 (two years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

booooo.

Mark G, Monday, 26 October 2015 11:33 (two years ago) Permalink

(booing "We will no longer play the Spectres song", for clarity yeah?)

Mark G, Monday, 26 October 2015 11:35 (two years ago) Permalink

IDGI. What is it about the other song that gives Smith's label/management team/whoever a legal claim against the station (however tenuous)?

Tim F, Monday, 26 October 2015 11:38 (two years ago) Permalink

Elvin Smith is Sam Smith's manager (one of three, anyway). I am faintly baffled that they'd be able to make 6 Music stop playing something that seems to fall within the demographic interests of the station. But if these emails are true, it's kind of a fascinating (and scary) look into how massive franchise tie-in bullshit marketing career-engineering works.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 26 October 2015 11:54 (two years ago) Permalink

why has someone gone through the pretence of obscuring Bob Shennan's name in those emails

these are my pincers and if you don't like them I have udders (DJ Mencap), Monday, 26 October 2015 12:20 (two years ago) Permalink

I'm with Tim F. Bob should let Elvin's lawyer come at him with all they've got, as I can't see that it'd'be much.

carly bae jepsen (monotony), Monday, 26 October 2015 12:24 (two years ago) Permalink

I privately brainstormed and the only thing I could come up with is if Radio 6 had been (jokingly) presenting the Spectres song as the "official new James Bond song" and - assuming consumer protection laws are roughly the same in the UK as in Australia - Sam Smith's management are saying that's misleading conduct. But it would be the presentation of the song rather than playing it that would potentially be actionable.

And if that was the case and it's not even properly identified in Smith's emails then IDK give up now dude.

(soz for being boring)

Tim F, Monday, 26 October 2015 12:29 (two years ago) Permalink

STAND DOWN!

UPDATE: The BBC has claimed that the emails are a hoax and the band has removed the FB post.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/sam-smiths-manager-allegedly-bullies-bbc-into-stopping-playing-unofficial-spectre-theme-in-sickening-a6709091.html

Mark G, Monday, 26 October 2015 12:31 (two years ago) Permalink

Clearly Elvin has told Bob to say it's a hoax.

Eyeball Kicks, Monday, 26 October 2015 14:12 (two years ago) Permalink

Baffled this fooled anybody for even a second.

nashwan, Monday, 26 October 2015 14:35 (two years ago) Permalink

Basically, this sort of thing goes on, but nobody's dumb enough to put it onto emails.

Mark G, Monday, 26 October 2015 15:08 (two years ago) Permalink

There's no way the 6Music guy would have said "Radio 6" in an email. And that's just for starters.

mike t-diva, Monday, 26 October 2015 17:15 (two years ago) Permalink

The Independent story above has been deleted (suspiciously!), here's a similar article.

flyingtrain (sbahnhof), Monday, 26 October 2015 17:44 (two years ago) Permalink

Not suspiciously, apart from the UPDATE I posted above it all proved to be wrong.

Anyway, the mirror has it the band did a cover version. Which it wasn't, right?

Mark G, Monday, 26 October 2015 18:19 (two years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

I love music

— Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) November 6, 2017

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 08:44 (one week ago) Permalink

lol

imago, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 08:49 (one week ago) Permalink

haha

niels, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 09:26 (one week ago) Permalink

New board description, 'As recommended by Sam Smith'.

Dan Worsley, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 09:42 (one week ago) Permalink

well that's quite impressive after having to sing Too Good at Goodbyes 1000+ times

Ludo, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 10:57 (one week ago) Permalink

lol

imago, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 10:59 (one week ago) Permalink

just cringed through my initial responses to this thread. should have just called him a worthless hack and been done with it tbh

imago, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 11:00 (one week ago) Permalink

Less interesting than Adele/Emeli Sandé, amirite?

Mark G, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 11:51 (one week ago) Permalink

serious contender for most overrated debut of the decade

also nominating Hozier

niels, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 12:32 (one week ago) Permalink

did anyone actually rate his debut? or hozier's?

dyl, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 23:45 (one week ago) Permalink

(i know they were both grammybait but that barely counts imo)

dyl, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 23:45 (one week ago) Permalink

i'd like to belatedly apologize for starting this thread 3 years ago

dyl, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 23:46 (one week ago) Permalink

hmm maybe just hype, Smith had an RS cover story and Hozier sold almost a million copies though

niels, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 07:22 (one week ago) Permalink

Every Sam Smith song sounds like a Kidz Bop cover of "Tears in Heaven."

— Louis Virtel (@louisvirtel) November 7, 2017

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 13:04 (one week ago) Permalink

All noise dude summertime fun board and pickle bar
— Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) November 6, 2017

The Suite Life of Jack and Wendy (wins), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 13:13 (one week ago) Permalink

ban lj
— Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) September 20, 2017

with your tight body and horrific androgynous monster face (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 13:18 (one week ago) Permalink

I hate this guy's voice. It's like a more boring Justin Vernon.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 14:14 (one week ago) Permalink

Hozier by some distance better than this polished nothing

Gary Synaesthesia (darraghmac), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 23:36 (one week ago) Permalink

Is there a good reason this guy is being given one hours worth of primetime on BBC1 to plug his latest album? Licence Fee anyone?

Terry Micawber (Tom D.), Thursday, 9 November 2017 20:49 (one week ago) Permalink

people are cunts

imago, Thursday, 9 November 2017 20:50 (one week ago) Permalink

No, I believe it's called "The Thrill of It All"

Terry Micawber (Tom D.), Thursday, 9 November 2017 20:52 (one week ago) Permalink

he's a fucking cunt moron, what do you expect. an insipid parasite

imago, Thursday, 9 November 2017 21:10 (one week ago) Permalink

If you had started the thread like that we could all just have gone home.

Was a good read, though.

the article don, Friday, 10 November 2017 08:42 (one week ago) Permalink

I thought I liked "Money On My Mind" but have checked it out again and the only good bits are when he isn't singing.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 10 November 2017 10:14 (one week ago) Permalink

the bits where he whispers that he doesn't have: and that he does it for the love ?

Still, he's appealing to the people that like to sing loud songs about loving Money.

Mark G, Friday, 10 November 2017 12:47 (one week ago) Permalink

No, the instrumental coda only.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 10 November 2017 12:49 (one week ago) Permalink

the bits where he whispers that he doesn't have: and that he does it for the love ?

jfc

imago, Friday, 10 November 2017 12:52 (one week ago) Permalink

It was on my top 50 tracks from the year, no idea why now, faintly embarrassing.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 10 November 2017 13:03 (one week ago) Permalink

Just saw that t-shirt thing. What you said. xpost.

Mark G, Friday, 10 November 2017 14:44 (one week ago) Permalink


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