Jorja Smith, ‘Let Me Down’ | Track Review
20-year old English R&B artist Jorja Smith compels on ballad “Let Me Down,” building her case as an artist to watch in 2018. She’s assisted by Stormzy.
The name Jorja Smith may sound familiar, at least to some extent. The 20-year old English artist appeared on More Life (“Jorja Interlude” and “Get It Together”), the playlist-album by Drake. Now she’s trying to make her own compelling case as the next big thing. Single “Let Me Down,” featuring Stormzy, is a convincing start.
“Let Me Down” commences moodily, fashioned as a piano-driven ballad. Jorja Smith delivers pure, radiant, and expressive vocals. She possesses a distinct tone, particularly the cracks and nuances. The first statement of the chorus amplifies the emotional intensity, and increases the dynamic level. Naturally, Smith pushes more, providing more oomph and punch during the chorus. She remains tasteful, never over-singing or pushing too much.
Stormzy appears on the second verse, backed with fuller production. Rather than just being accompanied by piano, synths and drum programming join the mix. By the second iteration of the chorus, the production is more developed, highlighted by the addition of strings. This is followed by gorgeous bridge section. Once more, Jorja Smith sounds pure and radiant as opposed to serving up gospel histrionics. “Let Me Down” ends a bit subtler than expected. It wouldn’t have hurt hearing Smith “dig in” as opposed to step back, truly giving into this emotion. It’s subjective, of course.
Jorja Smith compels on “Let Me Down,” building her case as an artist to watch. She has a lovely, expressive instrument at her disposal. Stormzy helps usher in the build-up, key to the progression of this number. That said, Smith is the star, and she doesn’t disappoint here.