Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Jorja Smith x Preditah – On My Mind

Third time’s the charm for songs with this title

Iain Mew: Last time I was impressed by Jorja Smith’s voice but left wanting something more. A sophisticated bit of garage revival that keeps her gorgeous vocal central, even at its most tricksy, more than suffices.

Will Adams: The minced vocals that open “On My Mind” provide the draw, but what keeps you around is Jorja Smith’s voice, which grounds Preditah’s zooming garage production in a soothing realm.

Patrick St. Michel: Always  here for cascading syllables being used as something more than lazy  attempts at appearing contemporary. “On My Mind” partially avoids this  pitfall because it’s channeling the past, and does it well. And when  Jorja Smith’s voice — strong and focused for most of the song, and  gliding over the beat as it skitters ahead — splits into static-like  bits, it adds some tension to the song, and mucks up the moving-on  narrative (not to mention giving some welcome T2 “Heartbroken” vibes).

Ryo Miyauchi: Jorja Smith narrates her predicament with a collected delivery as if to complement the slinky yet direct momentum of Preditah’s classic garage beat. But instead of resorting to a gentle sigh, I wish she doubled down on the bite behind her “ugh, you again” confrontation in her second verse. I can’t help but want more of a punch from this beloved sound, which has fallen into muzak-level ubiquity in the past few years. Still, “On My Mind” is an entry of throwback garage-&-B finer than most.

Alfred Soto: B-list pop house with hints of Katy B.

Eleanor Graham: A Coke Zero bop; could hardly be less substantial. The degree to which it sounds like an impeccably produced, young, uncynical and Radio 1-friendly homage to Amy Winehouse’s “Know You Now” is a bit exciting, but I probably won’t even recognise it when I inevitably hear it in a New Look changing room.

Maxwell Cavaseno: Preditah has never quite been my favorite amongst his generation of grime producers; his garage influenced tracks never had the comprehension of swing or bubble that the likes of Royal-T or Rude Kid were able to properly lean into the past with charm while keeping that one foot based in the present. Even here on “On My Mind” his keylines feel too greasy and his drums plink rather than scrape against the beat. Not to mention the Edwards-style snippet chorus is far too clinical and ends up sounding more like a preparation to sneeze than a hidden message. Jorja herself, however, fails with an issue she just can’t help; the 2-step era never had vocalists who were so unapologetically accented.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: I’ve spent many a night rummaging through my collection of perfume samples to find the best fragrance to pair with a specific song or album. On this particular evening, I’ve dabbed a few pulse points with Masque Milano’s L’Attesa and have had “On My Mind” blaring through my speakers for hours. As L’Attesa opens up, there’s a vivid evocation of regality in its effervescent champagne-like accord, but it soon fades to make way for numerous iris notes. It’s a sobering up of sorts, and it reflects Jorja’s ongoing disenchantment with a lover. One could claim she sounds anonymous here but her blankness carries with it an unspoken pain; she’s processing the reality of the situation, and she’s going to do it at her own damn pace. Even then, there’s an understated firmness in her singing that shouldn’t be ignored. The trochaic rhythm and smooth downscale delivery of the chorus’s “found the wrong in you” line force an emphasis on the “you.” And as such, singing this becomes an opportunity for Jorja to affirm that it’s not herself but another who bears the blame. Uncertainty and confusion linger, though, and it’s elegantly captured by the cut-up vocals and cyclical “Don’t want to feel you, don’t want you on my mind” line. The latter channels moments where one’s mind is plagued by recollections of intimacy involving a soon-to-be ex. In its mix of creamy iris, smooth leather, and subtle sandalwood, L’Attesa provides a space for that specific action. Its aroma is intensely personal and sensual but neither overbearing nor forced, all of which is amplified by its low sillage. Because of this, it almost becomes torturous to wear L’Attesa since it forces me to imagine myself in Jorja’s position — conflicted and hurting. She’s fighting though, and the UK garage production reminds us that there’s a sense of forward momentum.

Crystal Leww: Smith’s early work sounded too much like an unfinished demo, but “Get It Together” was one of the best things about More Life, finally some work that earned the pervasive comparisons to Amy Winehouse. Here, she earns comparisons to another great British voice in Craig David, though that’s probably owing 75% to Preditah’s production. This is so smooth that it almost doesn’t feel like a send off to a ex-lover, but great art is often complicated much like life itself. What a great duo, and yet another shift for Jorja Smith, who is quickly proving to be a great voice in British dance music.

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4 Responses to “Jorja Smith x Preditah – On My Mind”

  1. i ran out of time to blurb this but crystal said more or less what i would have anyway. and i’m very here for joshua’s perfume and music pairings!

  2. There was a version of a blurb where I mentioned On a Mission so I’m glad Alfred brought Katy B’s name up

  3. Joshua please hit me up i need a new perfume

  4. same