7 Songs, 23 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

By the time this debut EP was released, British singer/songwriter Sam Smith was already a sensation. He previously sang on two smash hits (Disclosure’s “Latch” and Naughty Boy’s “La La La”) and won some impressive U.K. awards including a BRIT Critics’ Choice award and a BBC Sound of 2014 poll. If the burden of expectations was weighing on Smith, it’s hard to tell from this excellent effort. He sounds sophisticated and assured as if he didn’t feel he had to prove everything with one EP. It’s an approach that works. Nirvana features mostly slow, synth-driven grooves like “Safe with Me,” “Together,” and the title track, which highlights his remarkable falsetto and subtle phrasing. There’s also a stripped-down version of “Latch” that reveals an entirely different side to the song. Still, it’s the midtempo “Money on My Mind” that emerges as the catchiest track here, and it shows Smith is more than just an evocative balladeer. Based on the promise of Nirvana, there’s much more to come from this promising young talent.

EDITORS’ NOTES

By the time this debut EP was released, British singer/songwriter Sam Smith was already a sensation. He previously sang on two smash hits (Disclosure’s “Latch” and Naughty Boy’s “La La La”) and won some impressive U.K. awards including a BRIT Critics’ Choice award and a BBC Sound of 2014 poll. If the burden of expectations was weighing on Smith, it’s hard to tell from this excellent effort. He sounds sophisticated and assured as if he didn’t feel he had to prove everything with one EP. It’s an approach that works. Nirvana features mostly slow, synth-driven grooves like “Safe with Me,” “Together,” and the title track, which highlights his remarkable falsetto and subtle phrasing. There’s also a stripped-down version of “Latch” that reveals an entirely different side to the song. Still, it’s the midtempo “Money on My Mind” that emerges as the catchiest track here, and it shows Smith is more than just an evocative balladeer. Based on the promise of Nirvana, there’s much more to come from this promising young talent.

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