Sam Smith - In the Lonely Hour_cover

For the last few months, London crooner Sam Smith has dared to breathe life into an R&B/soul genre that has steadily moved towards a permanent marriage with pop. In the process, he’s managed to make his debut album, In The Lonely Hour,  one of the most anticipated releases of 2014, even with the allegations that it’s essentially this year’s channel orange. Listeners overseas were able to acquire the LP at the end of May, while US fans have to wait still one more week until it arrives in stores and online for us. Realizing that it’s already been two weeks too long, however, Sam Smith has gone ahead and set free a free stream of his album’s standard edition, in conjunction with NPR First Listen, for our anxiously awaiting ears.

Ten tracks deep, and featuring the singles “Stay With Me” and “Leave Your Lover,” In The Lonely Hour isn’t the complete trip to the intersection of In Your Feelings Lane and Hey You Just Crossed My Mind Text Boulevard that its lead singles and title might imply. There are upbeat songs on deck to complement the album’s more emotional fare, like opener track “Money on My Mind” and “Like I Can.” But it’s Smith’s voice, combined with the subtle acoustics on tracks like the aforementioned “Leave Your Lover” and “Not in That Way,” that will stay with you long after you’re done listening.

Stream Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour LP below. In The Lonely Hour drops in the US on June 17, though you can pre-order it on iTunes now.

[via NPR]

Sam Smith - In the Lonely Hour_tracklist