Sam Smith, high pitched phenomenon

imgres-1By Abby Sunu
Executive Entertainment Editor
As I was flipping through the channels out of boredom late one Saturday night, I finally came across a favorite late-night classic: Saturday Night Live. Louis C.K. was hosting that night March 29, and I didn’t have much interest in seeing him host. I also had no clue who the musical guest was, so why I didn’t change the channel beats me, but I’m so glad I kept watching because if I hadn’t, I would have never been introduced to the amazing upcoming artist know as Sam Smith.
The first time I listened to Smith, I was hooked as he sang his most popular song, “Stay With Me.” The music started off as a soft piano riff and sounded just like another sad and heart-breaking love song, but to my surprise, it was much more. The first note he sang was emotional and pulled me in because he has a high yet soft voice that is so different from most artists.
After hearing this tear-jerker, I investigated what else this low-key artist had to offer, and, to my liking, I concluded he is not a one-hit wonder. After he released “Stay With Me” April 14, he released two more singles, “Money on My Mind” and “Lay Me Down,” in February.
“Money on My Mind” has a more upbeat tempo, and Smith’s high pitched voice gets even higher than it was in “Stay With Me.” Smith’s falsettos in this song are similar to Justin Timberlake’s high-pitched tempo and notes but aren’t to be confused with Justin Bieber’s feminine voice.
“Lay Me Down” starts off with Smith singing at a fast pace and lower voice, which differs from his past two songs. Smith’s deeper pitch and strong vibratos create a powerful sound that makes you feel the pain and emotion. This song almost reminds me of how a gospel singer would sound because of his strong voice that emphasizes certain lyrics, making it more emotional.
He even has loud back-up singers as he sings, “Lay me down tonight, lay me by your side/Lay me down tonight, lay me by your side/Can I lay by your side, next to you, you-ou/And make sure you’re alright/I’ll take care of you/And I don’t wanna be here if I can’t be with you tonight.” This addition makes the end of the song feel very dramatic and leaves you with a lot of emotion.
All three of these songs can be found on Smith’s newest album, “In the Lonely Hour,” which was released May 26. Other songs such as “Good Thing,” “Leave your Lover” and “I’ve Told You Now” appear on Smith’s album as well.
Each song has a different variation and tone but still includes Smith’s unique voice. However, these songs remain exclusive on iTunes and can only be purchased through the album.
Overall, I love Smith’s music, and not only because he isn’t overplayed on the radio and remixed into a dubstep song, unlike John Legend who we lost to this mainstream remix atrocity weeks ago. Smith’s music will grow more popular as others discover what this talented artist has to offer from “In the Lonely Hour.”