John Smith – The Living Kind

John Smith - The Living Kind



4.5/5 Pros

  • Beautiful storytelling
  • Very intimate atmosphere
  • Touching, straight singer-songwriter folk

In 2021, I for the first time introduced you to John Smith. In March of that year, I shared the album The Fray with you – and really enjoyed it. On 15th Match 2024, Smith is back with his eighth studio album overall. Here is my review of The Living Kind.


John Smith – About The Artist

John Smith is an English folk artist. He is from Essex in England and released his first album The Fox and the Monk in 2006.


John Smith – The Living Kind – Track by Track

The ten song album lasts 42 minutes.

1. Candle

Are you setting a fire, my loving vandal
I see you are heading for a fall
What if it’s more than you can handle
All the light spills on the table
And you’re burning out
You’re burning like a candle

Candle is the opening track of the album. The song is very rhythmic and also groovy, even though it does not work with too instruments and background elements. John Smith’s voice and the slightly alternative folk touch of the song turn it into a really nice listen.

2. Milestones

Milestones follows a rather similar approach than the opener. John Smith limits the backing instruments and rather focuses on what is needed to present his story. In this song, though, the style is more traditional and less groovy. Very nice listen.

3. The Living Kind

The Living Kind is one of two songs which have already been released as singles. The song presents a catching chorus and overall feels rather pop-ish. The third track of the album makes you smile and feel happy – it might also turn into a great sing-a-long as well.

4. Trick Of The Light

The fourth track, Trick Of the Light, feels like a typical singer-songwriter folk song. Parts of the song don’t use more than the acoustic guitar to accompany the artist. Some other parts use limited other sounds like piano. Overall, this leads to a very intimate listen.

5. Silver Mine

With a playing time with just over five minutes, the longest song of the album takes you to the Silver Mine. If you just look at the four songs before, John Smith surprises with an intense, dramatic vocal performance. The song feels majestic and hymic. An absolute gem of a song.

She’s a diamond in a silver mine
A light by which to find
Another morning
Lead me away by hand, by heart
From days that fall apart
Without warning

6. Dividing Line

Even though the song is named Dividing Line, the catch phrase of this song is Do you love her with a cold heart? (or, later, Do you love him…). The song is a very emotional and intimate song again, which

7. Too Good To Be True

You can’t deny a certain level of kitsch in Too Good To Be True – I nonetheless love that song. John Smith touches country music tunes in this song. Nice one.

And when each dreaming day was through
We both knew what we had to do
You and me and baby, me and you
When life was too good to be true

8. Horizons

Horizons is coming with a strong focus on the vocal part of the song again. Later in the song, John Smith adds some scattered atmospheric elements again. The song definitely makes you listen to this singer-songwriter.

9. The World Turns

The ninth track has been another single release of the album already. Even though the song is in line with the sound of the album, it does have a nice touch of pop. It is not as present as The Living Kind, but therefor much more represents the beauty and magic of this album.

10. Lily

Time the great deceiver
Says I ought to leave you
But I need you more than time can ever know
Its shadow long upon me
But you have led me farther on
My lily in the valley of the rose

In the very last episode of this ten song set, John Smith shares the story of the Lily. Again, the song strikes with lovely lyrics and great storytelling. The calm song feels like the perfect fade out for The Living Kind.


John Smith – The Living Kind – Spotify

Here is the album on Spotify:


John Smith – The Living Kind – My View

I really enjoyed listening to The Living Kind. It is an album which catches you just by telling stories. And John Smith is excellent in that discipline. That’s finally what singer-songwriter songs are all about. Great listen.

Favorite Track: Silver Mine


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