Today, Feb 16th, sees the release of the second single from Sam Smith – Money On My Mind.
The radio friendly 3mins 33secs long track is the second single to come for Smith’s forthcoming debut album, In the Lonely Hour, scheduled for released on 26th May through Capitol Records.
Money On My Mind is a soft piano/percussion exploration of the pressures Sam Smith now faces, with record label expectations increasing as his profile does. Following the success of Disclosure’s Latch in October 2012, where Smith’s vocals led an otherwise tempered UK Garage track, 2013 saw Sam Smith release his debut single – Lay Me Down, achieve a No1 position with his collaboration on Naughty Boy’s La La La single, collaborate with Nile Rogers and James Napier on Together, and release his debut Nivana EP. In February this year Smith also won the BRIT Critics’ Choice and the BBC Sound Of awards, encouraging music industry pundits to cite Smith as a ‘one to watch’ for 2014. Busy.
Money On My Mind wraps Smith‘s soulful vocals around a R’n’B meets UK Garage standard. The accompanying video shows Smith singing as he walks through Las Vegas vignettes, showing a quiet disdain for the fiscal focus of those around him.
Following the framework of Disclosure’s Latch, Money On My Mind is divide of restrain verses by an almost falsetto chorus. Moving away from the softer ballad, and stronger vocals, of Lay Me Down, Money On My Mind could be a concerted move back towards the mainstream Electronica that first introduced Smith.
Money On My Mind is released via Capitol Records today (Feb 16th). To watch the official video, click here or on the image below.
For more on Sam Smith, including links to digital purchase platforms for Money On My Mind and Smith’s wider portfolio, visit http://samsmithworld.com
I’m not a modern Soul fan, often finding it too brash and arrogant. But Sam Smith has allowed me to dip my toe back in these more melodic waters without feeling inadequately bling. Money On My Mind is a masterful statement from an artist entering into such a fiscally driven genre and I, for one, applaud him for it.
On the down side, it’s a bit dull. Or perhaps low key; reminding me too much of Disclosure’s Latch, which is an exceptionally average production brought to life by refreshing vocals. Money On My Mind has more substance than Latch, but it still feels like a safe step in the right direction rather than a sprint.
But look, or rather read; in the second verse Smith sings:
Please don’t get me wrong,
I wanna keep it moving.
I know what that requires,
I’m not foolish.
Please can you make this work for me
Cause I’m not a puppet I won’t work against your strings.
Which is ballsy. Across 2014 the eyes of screaming teenagers, precocious gents in their early twenties, and the abacus obsessed A&R ax men will be staring at Sam Smith with an unwritten (or written in triplicate and signed) rule that they want what’s coming. Sam Smith is the latest in a long line of people being built up with little regard for an actual future, and Money On My Mind feels like a two fingered reminder that he’s ‘doing it for the love’.
Ed King is editor of Birmingham Review. Follow him @EdKing2210