Reviews

Jorja Smith “falling or flying” Album Review

falling or flying

Jorja Smith

  • Genre: R&B/Soul
  • Date: 29 Sep, 2023
  • Content: explicit
  • Track(s): 16
  • ℗ 2023 FAMM

Jorja Smith &Quot;Falling Or Flying&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, April 13, 2024

British singer Jorja Smith’s second studio album, ‘Falling or Flying,’ was made available on 29 Sep 2023 via FAMM. DameDame produced most of the album, including contributions from J. Hus and Lila Iké. Four singles, “Try Me,” “Little Things,” “Go Go Go,” and “Falling or Flying” were released in advance of Smith’s first full-length album in five years after ‘Lost & Found.’

Jorja Smith has always had something unique about her. There has been a special attraction about the Walsall-raised musician since her 2016 debut with the blockbuster single “Blue Lights”: the voice is technically brilliant, and there is honesty in every syllable uttered. Early comparisons to her idol Amy Winehouse were not unjustified; she only got better at connecting with listeners of all demographics. Her 2018 debut single “Lost & Found” provided a delicate glimpse into her personality; with its tasteful R&B and pop giftings, it felt more like a first move to quell the hyped crowd than a musical statement. Her popularity and myth grew because of her musical collaborations with artists like Burna Boy, Drake, and emerging singer Enny. She is again prepared to own her game on this new album.

Album Art

Jorja Smith &Quot;Falling Or Flying&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, April 13, 2024

The Album Art sees Black and white imagery of the powerhouse vocalist as she dons a fancy gown and smiles for the camera with arms on her waist.

Tracks And Features

“Try Me” is the first track on Falling or Flying, and it has a mix of organic drums, a double bass with jazz influences, and calming gospel background vocals. This song was chosen as the first single from this album because of the subsequent string arrangements and the elegant piano chords that add perfection. The song “She Feels” comes next, starting with a beat that sounds like a slowed-down drum and bass beat. Sadly, “She Feels” doesn’t develop as thoroughly as the beginning.

With its House music club ambience, “Little Things” elevates this album to a higher carefree realm devoid of problems, where “She Feels” struggles to secrete further serotonin. Resurrected is Lost & Found. After a skit, the reflective yet heartfelt collaboration “Feelings” with J Hus adds sincerity and emotional sensitivity. With rapper J Hus, “Feelings” is a nostalgic slow song alternating between modern reggaeton vibes and British garage from the early 2000s. The second feature likewise has all the necessary elements. The title track and “Go Go Go” both draw inspiration from eighties music in other places.

The latter, which is peppy, enables Smith to venture outside of jazz, soul, R&B, and house into pop territory. ‘Go Go Go,’ a somewhat formulaic indie-influenced song, is the kind of music that could only result from frenzied recording sessions with close friends; it’s not hard to imagine the three banging along loudly and screaming at themselves above all of the noise.

The song “Falling or Flying” demonstrates the skilful fusion of modern post-R’n’B thought with analogue, almost vintage structures. In the album’s title track, a guitar sends a few licks into the reverberation room, and eventually, the synths come on. It conjures up a shimmering soul and reduced funk.

The next song, “Try to Fit In,” has the most striking lyrics and is the most compelling musically, with haunting backing voices, but since it is so short—just under two minutes—it doesn’t develop into the masterpiece it could have been. On the Lila Iké-featuring song “Greatest Gift,” humility and peaceful choral harmonies make an impression. The song “Greatest Gift,” about Smith getting in touch with her younger self, is as moving as she’s ever sounded and carries a timely message. Once again, “Broken is the Man” demonstrated the power of openness and honesty. The following three songs are all guitar-based.

“Makes Sense” and “Lately” are too commonplace for a performer like Jorja Smith. But the ominous and eerie atmosphere of “Too Many Times” resonates with listeners. Along with a reprise at some point in this LP, the subtle, short, and distorted violins near the finish make this a classic and leave the listener wanting more.

The final song, “What if my heart beats faster?” begins with a lovely string introduction. Smith demonstrates various vocal powers in this moving piano-based philosophical ballad with sporadic breaking beats. However, as with “Too Many Times” and “What if my heart beats faster?” the strength of this song resides in the strings, which reach their peak in the final 90 seconds of the music and bring an enjoyable listening journey to a close.

Tracklist

NO TITLE TIME
1 Try Me 3:33
2 She Feels 3:12
3 Little Things 3:24
4 Flights skit 0:17
5 Feelings (feat. J Hus) 3:57
6 Falling or flying 3:24
7 GO GO GO 2:25
8 Try and fit in 1:56
9 Greatest Gift (feat. Lila Iké) 3:12
10 Broken is the man 2:12
11 Make sense 2:21
12 Too many times 2:38
13 Lately 2:07
14 BT69 JJY 0:25
15 Backwards 3:44
16 What if my heart beats faster? 4:52

Album Summary

Almost no song on “Falling or Flying” sounds identical, yet the album’s overarching theme of Smith listening to her instincts and finding her self-worth remains a driving principle. She had to permit herself to make the record she was meant to make, “Falling or Flying.”

“Falling or flying” soars when sincere, musically complex, and occasionally loose and carefree. The songs exhibiting these characteristics are the most distinctive and show that Jorja Smith deserves her place among the many A-listers she has worked with. Although they don’t spoil the album, the tracks’ occasional banality keeps “Falling or Flying” from becoming the 2020 classic it could have been. But ultimately, a more mature album was produced by capturing a different aspect of Smith.

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