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Jorja Smith - Be Right Back Music Album Reviews

Jorja Smith - Be Right Back Music Album Reviews
With stripped-back instrumentation and poignant emotion, the English singer’s latest release is a stopgap EP that punches above its weight.

On her 2018 debut Lost & Found, Jorja Smith presented a coming-of-age album on her own self-assured terms. Vivid lyrics and a flexible vocal range revealed the then-20 year old as a preternatural talent whose sleek songs speak to both small-scale romantic dramas and broad social and political ills; that year, she landed a coveted Mercury Prize nomination. Since then, the English R&B singer has kept a relatively low profile, providing the occasional guest feature while plugging away at a follow-up. Now Smith returns with the low-lit Be Right Back, a stopgap EP between albums with eight tracks from the cutting room floor. With its stripped-back instrumentation and forthcoming lyrics, Be Right Back proves that even Smith’s rejects are worthy of attention.

As an artist, Smith is adamant about working in her own style and at her own pace: “I don’t feel like I need to be doing this or that,” she told Pitchfork in 2017. “Ever.” Be Right Back maintains the ethos, contrasting the glossy, hip-hop-inflected production of her peers with a focus on mellower, guitar- and piano-driven instrumentation. “Addicted” is a particularly heart-rending missive from a fractured relationship, sung over rolling percussion and a faint, reverb-washed guitar. “The hardest thing/You are not addicted to me,” she confesses, stretching out the word “addicted” in a wounded search for reciprocity. Over rhythmic bass and guitar by co-producer Jeff Gitelman on “Burn,” Smith adopts a gently rolling delivery that feels on the verge of tears: “You burn like you never burn out/Try so hard you can still fall down/You keep it all in but you don’t let it out.” It’s one of her most confessional moments to date, a delicate yet plainspoken depiction of trying to keep it together while falling apart.

The mood shifts slightly on the propulsive, reggae-tinged “Bussdown,” but Smith sustains her languid style. She recruits the cool-headed South London rapper Shaybo to describe a self-made woman who can’t find happiness, even when surrounded by the spoils of success. The song eventually pivots to a sharper first-person point of view: “They call me Miss Naive, I’m still naive/I put trust in all the ones that got me,” Smith reels off in a curling flow, an admission of both vulnerability and strength that she then wrinkles with a sneer: “They never really had me.”

Be Right Back’s most appealing quality remains Smith’s voice, which stretches at will as she taps into various emotional states. She sings with insistence against echoing shouts on the moody “Digging” and flies up to a heady falsetto on “Weekend,” where her background vocals dovetail in operatic melodies. Be Right Back can at times feel like a minor expansion on Lost & Found’s melancholy moments, but Smith’s emotional acuity and resolute confidence prove that she’s still just getting started.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Jorja Smith - Be Right Back Music Album Reviews Jorja Smith - Be Right Back Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 Rating: 5

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