Jorja Smith is 21 years old. That is a loaded statement to keep in mind listening to this album. Think about what you were doing at 21. I bet you were anything but confident, mature or patient.
Twenty-one is where you’re just figuring out your place in the world; 21 is an age of endless possibility and paralyzing fear, a gateway to adulthood, the age at which “the rest of your life” has started, with all the crushing implications and expectations that come with that realization.
It is therefore something extraordinary to witness kids who have seemingly already bypassed all that. Chloe and Halle proved their salt by producing an impeccable album The Kids Are Alright. And I won’t even get to how much soul The Four winner 20 year old Evvie McKinney packed in her young self. Because I will go off on a tangent.
Jorja sings like she was born knowing how, and her songwriting isn’t far behind. These kids are really crafting their own mark in a cut throat industry .
Jorja Smith’s debut resonates with the thumbprint sounds of Amy Winehouse, Solange and Lauryn Hill, some powerhouses of our generation. Her resume is already hyped with an array of collaborations with Stormzy, Drake, Khalid and Kendrick Lamar plus she even got to produce a record, I Am, for Black Panther
Lost & Found consists of 12 songs with absolutely no features, a very brave move which I highly commend. For the most part the project consists of crooning acoustic ballads with piano and jazzy sounds.
Her voice grazes like fine whisky, embedded with a somber melancholy that’s as much romantic as it is realistic.
I am so disappointed though that Let Me Down did not make it on the album because that was a spectacular record that she seemingly just pushed aside.
Anyway, the album starts off just okay with the title track, and honestly nothing much to write home about. It is in the midsection of the project that she injects some life. On your own is led by bright piano chords and flirts with a dance-hall rhythm in its prechorus. The album continues to soar with The One which is set against some piano keys and a gripping bassline.
Wandering Romance showcases her amazing lyricism. For such a young age she is able to decipher such mature sentiments relationshpwise. Blue Lights is another moment for the album, a socio-political song that touches on police brutality. Goodbyes is the peak of the project with the songstress fronting her vocal prowess.
Smith’s style can glide anywhere between the decadent R&B of Sade to the neo-soul of Erykah Badu but she’s best when she’s occupying the center of her scope.
While there might be a few skip-able tracks and too much of a good thing with the excessive crooning, Lost & Found is a solid body of work for a debut and Miss Smith’s star is only rising.
Notable favorites; The One, Wandering Romance, Blue Lights, Goodbyes
Overall Rating; 6.9/10