Jorja Smith is an English neo-soul and R&B gem. Her songs exhibit not only a mastery of musicianship but of sentimental expression. Every element of her music, from the production, to sampling, to vocal performance exudes emotive precision. Her latest single, “Let Me Down” is no exception. It is, however, a departure from the kind of groovy, jazz-oriented delivery of her previous work.
“Let Me Down” is a depression ballad of sorts, a rolling, watery rendition of a dysfunctional relationship, complete with a Stormzy rap feature. The number has an emotional intensity that serves as new territory for Smith, and for a first delve into the archetypal heartbreak ballad, it’s a jaw-dropping endeavor. In this light, her latest effort proves her willingness to experiment and a confidence in her ability to master a variety of genre conventions and styles. What makes her latest unique is that it proves her unwillingness to get too comfortable in the sonic niche she’s crafted for herself thus far.