×

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

  • John Mayer Madonna

    The College Dropouts: John Mayer, Madonna Among Music Stars Who Didn't Graduate

    It’s commencement time at colleges coast to coast, which means seeing successful musicians at podiums receiving honorary degrees — among them, Justin Timberlake at Berklee College of Music and Jon Bon Jovi at the University of Pennsylvania. But the music world is full of stars who never matriculated and still managed to come in at [...]

  • ‘Hitsville: The Making of Motown’ Acquired

    ‘Hitsville: The Making of Motown’ Acquired by Showtime for U.S.

    Polygram Entertainment, Universal Music Group’s film and television division, along with Capitol Music Group, Motown Records and Fulwell 73 announced today that “Hitville: The Making of Motown” has been acquired by Showtime for release in North America with plans for a fall premiere, and Altitude for theatrical release in the UK and Ireland. The feature-length [...]

  • Dimitri Vegas

    Dimitri Vegas Talks 'Rambo V: Last Blood' Role, Working With Sylvester Stallone

    Dimitri Thivaios, better known as dance music’s Dimitri Vegas, is taking his skills beyond the DJ booth, picking up a major film role in the forthcoming “Rambo V: Last Blood.” The Belgium-born Thivaios, who headlines massive EDM festivals like Tomorrowland with his brother Michael (they perform under the banner Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike), has [...]

  • Winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song

    Netherlands' Duncan Laurence Wins 2019 Eurovision Song Contest

    Madonna’s controversial performance may have grabbed the headlines, but Duncan Laurence won the nearly four-hour-long 2019 Eurovision Song Contest for the Netherlands with the song “Arcade,” which he cowrote with Joel Sjöö and Wouter Hardy. Laurence won a total of 492 points from the expert juries and televoters in a contest that was touch and [...]

  • Madonna Eurovision Song Contest, Tel Aviv,

    Madonna at Eurovision in Tel Aviv: 'Never Underestimate the Power of Music'

    Madonna took the stage at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv on Saturday night (May 18). The appearance comes ahead of the release of her forthcoming album “Madame X,” due out on June 14. Following performances from Israeli singer-songwriter Idan Raichel and 2018 Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai, who sang her latest single “Nana Banana,” [...]

  • WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 16:

    On the Scene at Pollstar's Impact 50 Party With Agents for Billy Joel, Ed Sheeran, More

    Oak View Group co-founders Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff were among the luminaries on hand to mark Pollstar’s inaugural Impact 50 list recognizing the executives shaping the present and future of the live concert industry. Live Nation president/CEO Michael Rapino was named “Most Impactful” on the list. The event was held on May 16 high [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content