As its name very much gives away, ‘Be Right Back’ is a stop-gap of sorts for Jorja Smith; a follow-up to 2019 debut ‘Lost & Found’, yes, but in place of the kind of grand statement one might expect from a BRIT-winning, Mercury-shortlisted and Grammy-nominated artist, is a snapshot of where the West Midlands singer is right now. It’s a record of two halves; the former a collection of evocative vignettes, the latter a vehicle for her impressive vocal. And while the latter does have its moments - closer ‘Weekend’ is the kind of sprawling epic that brings to mind earlier Jessie Ware - it’s in the first half, shorn of any jazzy accompaniment, that ‘Be Right Back’ is truly interesting. The trip hop-like ‘Addicted’, R&B jam ‘Gone’ and the glitchy Shaybo-featuring ‘Bussdown’ allowing the same personality that made early cut ‘Blue Lights’ so compelling to come to the fore.
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