Lost & Found
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  • Within two-and-a-half years of uploading "Blue Lights," Jorja Smith crashed the Top 40 in her native U.K., recorded with and opened for Drake, racked up a bunch of Top Ten U.K. indie singles, appeared on the Black Panther soundtrack, and won the Brit Critics' Choice Award. She also received additional acknowledgments via the MOBO Awards and BBC Music Sound of 2017. These and other developments and accolades increased anticipation for Smith's debut album. With one-third of the independently released Lost & Found previously issued, its arrival is somewhat anticlimactic on first contact, but the known and new material coalesce into an assured and complete debut. Had Smith arrived in the post-new jack swing '90s, her work would have been classified as hip-hop soul, what with the streetwise, wise-beyond-her-years perspective, captivatingly raw emotional content -- with an aching, slightly coarse voice to match -- and favoring of breakbeats and mellow, slightly rugged grooves. Standout "Blue Lights" inevitably reappears with its mournful rumination about the terror of racial (racist) profiling. Other than that cut and "Lifeboats (Freestyle)," on which Smith raps metaphorically about inequality and turning a blind eye to those in need, Lost & Found focuses on romantic pitfalls and impasses. In multiple instances -- the opening title track and following "Teenage Fantasy," two highlights -- she frets about lovers who don't want what she wants, and otherwise regrets wasted time, miscommunication, and dead ends, only rarely looking back with a low degree of fondness. A powerful tool for repairing a broken heart and indicative of an even brighter future, Lost & Found is satisfying and promising at once. ~ Andy Kellman
Professional Reviews
NME (Magazine) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "It's clear that Smith has done her homework...with shades of icons such as Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse scattered throughout the album."

Clash (Magazine) - "There are, at times, touches of Winehouse and glimmers of Badu to her voice; an almost hyperbolic comparison to make given their comparative heritage, but her astonishing range and ability warrant it."
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