One of the fastest rising singer/songwriters of her generation and a once in a lifetime talent, Jorja Smith, has a soulfullness and honesty that’s well beyond her years. Which the 21-year-old Walsall, U.K. native shows on her soulfully honest debut album, Lost & Found.
An album about love, self-discovery, hope and the vulnerability one goes through in their personal life to discover not only more about themselves personally as a human being, but also about themselves as an artist as they make that important transition from their teenage years to their early adulthood. Lost & Found at its core the emotionally vulnerable rollercoaster one goes through losing their selves while trying to hopelessly find love, romance and all of its possibilities, while navigating through life. In a way everyone can relate to.
From the soulfully jazzy opening title track, which features Smith’s signature angelic vocals and voice in a beautifully simple sing-rap asking a serious of rhetorical questions about falling in love and being lost in emotion, you can tell the singer is laying the foundation of not only a great album, but career. That than perfectly segues to the standout, Teenage Fantasy. Another soulfully jazzy-tinged record in which the singer lures you in with her hypnotically powerful voice, as she sings about the false sense of love most get as teenagers. A “fantasy” of love we all want and thought we had only to realize we didn’t.Easily if not the best record on the album, one of the top two or three and by far one of the best records I ever heard with how powerfully and relatable it’s. That so seamlessly segues into the more upbeat, Where Did I Go? Just when you think the album couldn’t get any better too, there’s the very beautifully and sultry, February 3rd, that encourages the personal growth that’s needed to elevate and grow any relationship. The very delicate ballad finding Smith over the very lush piano-laden backdrop singing about a lover she can’t quite let go of, but he doesn’t really feel the same for her. It’s a record in which she’s really able to show off her very angelic voice and vocals too.
As the album transitions to the midpoint, Smith really starts to show off her vulnerably hopeless self-discovery even more. Starting to show off her classically trained vocals and knack for powerfully great melodies even more so with records like, On Your Own and The One. The J. Lbs-produced, On Your Own, a very beautiful piano-laden record, which is easily one of the most standout records on the album and showcases her classically trained vocals. As she sings about the tales of love, lust and heartbreak that are central themes of not only this particular song, but most of the album. While the latter is a very emotional Ed Thomas and Joel Compass-produced record that builds up from their orchestra almost movie-theme like production to the very passionately powerful vocal performance from Smith. As she sings about all of the emotions one tries to escape in love, while trying to find out who one is in their selves with easily the most powerful records on the album and definitely one of the biggest highlights of the album too. The Felix Joseph-produced, Wandering Romance, is yet another highlight too with how Smith over the powerful guitar, drums and perfect sample backdrop so swiftly brings that swagger storytelling about the love she’s discovered in a very ambitious way that everyone can relate to with how she very ambitiously and powerfully sings the record. Unlike most records that sound dated years later, the singers very first ever single, the very beautifully emotional, Blue Lights, still sounds just as fresh and raw over two years later and truly shows how timeless great of a record it’s. As it doesn’t throw off the great overall aesthetic and theme of the album too.
Setting towards the albums last three records, Smith gives some of her most simplest, yet raw and beautifully emotional performances yet over mostly acoustic backdrops that I’m sure she purposely did to be better suited to use with a band for her live performances. Starting off with the very acoustic piano-laden Ed Thomas-produced, Goodbyes. A simple, yet emotionally vulnerable record she so beautifully sings with her delicate angelic vocals about the goodbyes one gives to someone they lost and feel sorry that they didn’t spend more time with. A somber very record that could quite possibly move you to tears. That than perfectly segues into the also Thomas-produced, Tomorrow. Another near tear-jerking record that finds Smith over the piano-laden traditional orchestra like backdrop singing in a gospel like voice about how she can’t let a love go and that everything, “will all make sense tomorrow,” on why she wouldn’t say goodbye, cry or let go. Meanwhile the very amazingly emotional piano-laden closing track, Don’t Watch Me Cry, is the perfect record to close such a timeless masterpiece of an album. As its very tender, yet beautifully soft nakedly vulnerable performance of such great emotions and angelic vocals from Smith gives you such great hope in love and life that will almost assuredly move you to tears.
Offering a renovated version of Neo-Soul that also has small hints of Pop as well, the 21-year-old rising star shows the very great potential she already has at such a young age. Delivering not only one of the top R&B albums of the year, but one of the top two or three albums across all of music in 2018. Quite possibly even one of the top albums of the last three to five years that was robbed and should’ve been nominated for the Best R&B Album category of the GRAMMYS. Heck to be truthful, even the Album of the Year category and while it may have been snubbed from those categories from the GRAMMYS, don’t be surprised to see this top or near the top of the list for not only many top R&B, but top albums of the year end-lists.