×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Album Review: Jorja Smith’s ‘Lost & Found’

Jorja Smith is a precociously and prodigiously talented young Brit whose voice shows a nuance and maturity beyond that of most singers, let alone ones who turn 21 on Monday. She’s duetted with both Drake and Kendrick Lamar and opened for Bruno Mars on a five-week arena tour last year,  yet she’s just now releasing her first album.

It was worth the wait: “Lost & Found” could make her the breakout star of the year. It’s a combination of classic and contemporary sounds, mixing Amy Winehouse, Sade and a little bit of “Baduizm” in a way that also fits alongside the hip-hop-informed R&B songstresses of the few years, but Smith’s distinctive voice and the album’s mid-tempo beats and spare, simple hooks set it apart. And while the music occasionally drifts into a Sam Smithian gilt frame or Jill Scott-ish jazz-lite chill, it’s her commanding voice that puts the songs back on track. One listen to Smith’s 2016 EP “Project 11” — where the Winehouse influence is more obvious — shows how far she’s come in just a year and change.

The highlights are many, but the best introductions are “Teenage Fantasy” — a smokey, laid-back groove with a haunting instrumental hook and a killer chorus — and her first single, “Blue Light,” which is probably the most direct and immediate track on an album that’s nothing if not subtle. Elsewhere, the gospel-ish “Tomorrow” highlights her strong but sparingly used upper register, and “Lifeboats” shows she’s no slouch as a rapper (and one who uses her thick British accent to full effect). Although the LP does linger by the exit — the last three tracks all feel like closers — it’s a real album, with an arc and continuity. “Lost & Found” is one of those rare records that’s adventurous but can also appeal to that aunt or sister-in-law or Grammy voter who finds a new artist they like every 15 years.

Album Review: Jorja Smith's 'Lost & Found'

More Music

  • Noah CentineoNickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, Show,

    Kids’ Choice Awards 2019: JoJo Siwa, Noah Centineo Take on Bullying

    This year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards was full of positivity and encouragement to be yourself. DJ Khaled, known for his upbeat mantras, hosted the 32nd annual awards ceremony alongside JoJo Siwa at USC’s Galen center. Siwa accepted the award for favorite social music star. Siwa said in her acceptance speech, “I get hated on every [...]

  • Concert Review: Yoko Ono Saluted By

    Concert Review: Yoko Ono Earns a Wide-Ranging, All-Female Salute at Disney Hall

    Yoko One was — is — nothing if not an artist of many facets, as someone who started out in the most avant-garde corners of the visual and performance art worlds and ended up having a flair for conventional pop songwriting. Both sides, the disrupter and the sentimentalist, were celebrated in a wide-ranging tribute concert [...]

  • NF_D_JGN-D6-2160.cr2

    Film Review: 'The Dirt'

    A long time ago, the words sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll carried a hint of danger. The lifestyle did, too, but I’m talking about the phrase. It used to sound cool (back around the time the word “cool” sounded cool). But sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll has long since passed into the realm [...]

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Jonathan Lamy RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy Stepping Down From RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy, the Recording Industry Association of America’s longtime executive VP of communications and marketing, is stepping down from his post after 17 years, he announced today. As he put it in an email to Variety, “I started back in 2002, which means it’s been 17+ years, four different RIAA CEOs, three format changes and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content