Sam Smith SNL

UK rising star Sam Smith brought his divinely honeyed vocal cords and charming doofus stage presence to Saturday Night Live last night, and he went the balladeer’s route. Smith performed his recent gospel-tinged single “Stay With Me” during the first musical segment and followed it with “Lay Me Down,” which he released as an acoustic ballad last summer. The exclusion of uptempo monster jams “Latch” and “Money On My Mind” is only a minor disappointment because Smith, who seems more inclined toward introspective glory-note material like this, nailed it. Watch both performances below.

Smith’s In The Lonely Hour is out 6/17 on Capitol.

Comments (8)
  1. Said it once, and I’ll say it again: It seems like they’re setting him up to be some adult-contemporary Grey’s Anatomy death scene singer rather than the edgy Disclosure / “Money On Your Mind’ neo-house artist that drew my interest in him. I get that he has a good voice, but I get so many Clay Aiken vibes from these songs, and that’s not at all what I want or what impresses me.

    • I was just saying something to my little brother along the same lines. His voice is fantastic, but this is really generic stuff. An odd trajectory considering the edged angle he broke in with e.g. Disclosure.

    • TBH his voice is not just good, its great. Some of the best live vocals I’ve ever heard. Unfortunately, I have to agree with your assessment of the material. To me this was somewhere between Josh Groban and George Michael. It’s sappy, and even though his tone and range are pretty unbelievable, I actually got tired of hearing him doing the same runs by the end of the second song. My suspicion is that they want him to be a kind of male Adele, whereas I was hoping for more of a Katy B / Jesse Ware / hell even London Grammar type thing.

      Glad he got the SNL gig though, arguably one of their more forward-looking musical bookings in a long time (in that there has not been a lot of opportunity to hear/see Sam Smith on US tv or radio thus far). Obviously they had to correct that, which is why we get the overrated and overexposed Pharrell next week.

  2. On one hand, I thought there lacked a contrast in the song selections…both took on a similar pop-croon approach, but I thought he did as great job of representing and ‘explaining’ himself too an audience that essentially had no idea who he really is. Someone is definitely misusing him, but he could have come off pop candy, but didn’t. His voice shined and I think he maintained that level of mystery…
    The problem we all have here is that we are such big fans of ‘Money on my Mind’ and I think we all wanted more of that, which I believe will eventually come about. Be patient.

  3. I’ll admit, he does have a voice on him but he kinda reminds me of Boy George.

  4. The male Adele or the less weird Antony? You be the judge.

  5. I’m really surprised that everybody is kinda down on these performances/these songs. Yeah they’re slow, but the boy absolutely belts. Like dansolo said above, his voice is not just good, it is great (I would say excellent myself). These songs really allow him to showcase the pipes that he’s got.

    I personally hope there are songs like Nirvana and Safe With Me on his album (if they aren’t) because I think those songs are the perfect balance between these slow balllads and the more “edgy” songs like Latch and Money On My Mind.

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