It’s been a hell of a year for still rising Walsall musician Jorja Smith. Not only has she worked with artists like Stormzy and Khalid, she’s released a song on Kendrick Lamar’s soundtrack project for Black Panther, she’s also picked up Brit Critic’s Choice Award.
Finally after much teasing she’s dropped her debut album Lost and Found.
Jorja really knows what she’s doing. This album took three years to make and you can see why she didn’t rush. Every bit of this album screams versatility. She’s taken her time to learn from a variety of artistic places. Whether there’s choral arrangements or freestyle rapping segments, she’s completely at home.
The tracks “Blue Lights” and “Where Did I Go?” date from 2016 – and may disappoint long time fans who expected more new music, but they are still R&B classics that will never get old – so she gets a pass this time.
She has complete control over her voice, and it shows in every single track. You can see exactly why she’s been compared to artists like Adele and Amy Winehouse as well as Lauryn Hill. A diverse group of musicians has bred an equally diverse voice.
Standout tracks here for me have to be “Where Did I Go?”, “Blue Lights” and “Lifeboats”. She’s picked some great singles, and “Blue Lights” has got the potential to be a straight classic one day, but I’ve really gotta praise “Lifeboats”, labelled as a freestyle on the track listing, it feels anything but.
Jorja breaks from the usual RnB stylings on this record to show us her lyrical mastery, weaving circles around the beat in this deeper cut from the album.
This is one of the strongest R&B Debut albums for quite some time. Plenty of polished tracks, with no overly weak tracks to pick out, it’s a blissful listen from beginning to end.
The album is available on all digital platforms: