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“In the Lonely Hour,” Sam Smith
Release date: May 26, 2014
Why we love it: This torch-y singer from England delivers emotional, gut wrenching ballads that are steeped in traditional song structure, but are produced in a thoroughly contemporary way and with enough of a hipness quotient to land on radio. In a voice that soars over the melodies and beats, Smith plumbs the depths of a disastrous love affair for our pleasure. - Melinda Newman