Track Review: Sampha, ‘Timmy’s Prayer’
“I messed up…I know now.” Those lyrics are key to “Timmy’s Prayer,” the second single issued from Process. Process, of course, is the highly anticipated full-length debut album from British musician Sampha. Sampha has made a name for himself as a collaborator and producer, not so much as an artist. Judging by the songs he rolled out ahead of Process – including “Blood on Me” and “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano” – he definitely deserves credit for his own music.
“Timmy’s Prayer” is heavy, much like “Blood on Me” and “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano.” Sampha seems to admit he was wrong and messed up a good relationship. The first hit of a repentant Sampha comes on the intro, “If ever you’re listening,” which also happens to initiate the chorus:
“If ever you’re listening / If heaven’s a prison / Then I am your prisoner / Yes, I am your prisoner / I messed up, ooh / I know now / There’s no room for me to play now / Nowhere to dig my way out.”
Following the chorus, Sampha paints a picture of his regrets and emotion throughout the first verse. Clearly, in his eyes, things started out well but went downhill.
“And somewhere in the start we had it alright / Sunshine and blue skies, yes I call / But now there’s a darker blue / I’m bleeding and you don’t care / the sun sinks and you’re not there.”
Later, he references his brother’s advice that “she’s a keeper,” only to later state, “She’s nowhere to be seen now…” Arguably the climax comes during the more intense, contrasting bridge section, where Sampha drops the bomb.
“I’m waiting ‘cause I f*cked up, ooh / I got thrown out / I don’t know which way to go now / don’t know which way is home now.”
Ultimately, “Timmy’s Prayer” gives Sampha another gem. While it’s melancholy, the passion of the singer/songwriter is greatly appreciated. Both songwriting and production are strong suits. Vocally, he may not be characterized as the best in the game, but he conveys heartache incredibly convincingly.