Connect with us


Track Review: Jorja Smith’s ‘Let Me Down’

The type of song that makes you feel woozy or that you should be sipping a strong drink to.

Charlotte Kohlberg



British R&B singer songwriter Jorja Smith’s jazz-tinged raspy voice is captivating on “Let Me Down,” which features UK grime artist Stormzy.  If Alicia Keys and Amy Winehouse morphed into completely different artist, it would sound like Smith on this track. The single was released in January 2018 to promote her upcoming tour. 

The song is sad and sexy in a James Bond opening title song kind of way, staying in tune with a slow jazzy ballad approach — like James Bond theme song predecessors Adele with “Skyfall” and Sam Smith with “Writing’s on The Wall.”

What do those songs have in common? Tragic lyrics paired with powerful voices and dramatic instrumental melodies, all of which Smith accomplishes. I would argue that this should be the theme song of the next Bond film.

The ballad consists of two verses, the first sung by Smith and the second rapped by Stormzy. The lyrics are dark and allude to pain and a sad ending, in case the song title reveal that. Smith and Stormzy are narrating a story of a relationship gone bad: “Sometimes, I wouldn’t mind if I was less important/Would you think about them all the time?/Wonder if you’ll even notice in the morning/So where’d you go when you can’t get to me/And you just can’t control.

It’s slow and intentional as it goes into the chorus with more intensity repeating, “But I’ve got you to let me down.” 

The reason why this second party is letting Jorja down is uncertain, but she does admit, “only you can understand why,” suggesting something personal. The hidden meaning only makes it more intriguing.

Smith sheds some light on the mystery in a press release, saying “’Let Me Down’ is about meaning very little to someone but being okay with that, even though it hurts.” 

On Stormzy’s verse, rapped in his low smoky voice, an amazing complement to Smith’s octave climbing singing. His verse provides an alternate point of view. Where Smith’s verse is the disappointed, Stormzy’s verse is from that of the dissapointer. The poeticism is raw with slang: “Time is golden, time is thin/But time is rare, so we squander and that/I feel your pain when I hear your voice/So fix your tone, man, you’re stronger than that/And you’re, like, the strongest girl I know/Probably the strongest, minus my mum.”

The verse goes on longer, but you get the idea, unrequited love. 

“Let Me Down” is the type of song that makes you feel woozy or that you should be sipping a strong drink to. It’s sexy, dark, dramatic, and heart wrenching. The music video adds to the drama of the song, so check it out here

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Charlotte is a recent Graduate in Art History from New York University. After working at a publishing company, she realized her affinity for writing when she had to write weekly newsletters on authors and podcasts. She started her journalism career contributing for online media and entertainment source, The Knockturnal. Currently living in New York City, Charlotte enjoys going to concerts and art museums, and mixing cocktails for her friends.

CMN Music

Music3 days ago

Album Review: Tamino – ‘Amir (Deluxe)’

An expanded edition that offers poetic drama from beginning to end.

Music3 weeks ago

What Makes A Scary Song? Three Things Every Spooky Tune Needs

Genuinely scary sounds, an unsettling story, or just party jams with eerie sound effects?

Music3 weeks ago

React: Paste Magazine’s Best Albums of the 2010’s List

It's difficult for any one person to approach a list with complete objectivity,

CMN Vibes3 weeks ago

CMN Vibes: Spooky Season

The only playlist you'll need as Halloween gets closer.

Music1 month ago

4 Places to Read Great Music Journalism

Where to find great, free music writing and journalism on the web.

Essentials2 months ago

Four Useful Spotify Features for Music Writers: Part One

Tips, tricks and cool shortcuts to deepen your knowledge.

Music2 months ago

‘We’ll Carry On’: Examining the Legacy of Rock in the 2000s

The seeds planted by these bands are the reason rock will thrive for generations.

Music2 months ago

Man Arrested in Connection of Death of Rapper Mac Miller

28 year old Cameron James Pettit was arrested today on allegations of supplying deceased rapper Mac Miller with lethal drugs....

Music2 months ago

5 Things You’ll Quickly Learn After Moving From the USA to New Zealand

So you graduate college without any real career plan and decide to spend a year bartending so you can travel...

Music3 months ago

Review: Captain Beefheart, “Hair Pie: Bake 2”

An odd intrigue.

Essentials3 months ago

4 Podcasts Every Music Writer Should be Familiar With

Music journalists these days need to listen to a whole lot more than just music.

Music3 months ago

Cocaine and Rhinestones – Breaking Down Merle Haggard’s ‘Okie from Muskogee’

Tyler Mahan Coe brings the facts and the feel of history.

Music3 months ago

Track Review: Pool Kids – ‘$5 Subtweet’

Diving into a new age of confrontation.

by , SUNY Brockport
Music3 months ago

Hip-Hop’s Most Influential Artists of the Last Half -Decade

Drake, Migos, Travis Scott and more make the list.

by , SUNY Brockport
Music3 months ago

Podcast Review: The Needledrop: How To Get Into Death Grips

Dominick Rabrun joins Anthony Fantano for some intense chat.

Music3 months ago

Liily: Aiming to Turn the Music Industry Upside Down

California band is on the way up and has new music due out this fall.

Music3 months ago

Interview with Singer Natalie Clark

A CMN Q&A that touches on playing guitar, growing up in Glasgow, and being starstruck on 'The Voice.'

Essentials3 months ago

5 Essential Websites for Music Journalists

Great sources to confirm facts or come up with story ideas.

Music3 months ago

Brockhampton Announces New Album and Releases New Song

Brockhampton announced that their new album Ginger will be available on all platforms August 23. The budding rap group simultaneously...

Music3 months ago

Hot 100 Hometown Heat Map: Which State Makes the Most Hits?

Find where your favorite music comes from.

Music3 months ago

Podcast Review: ‘This Sounds Better’

A great podcast that covers key points important to engineers and producers.

by , Albright College
Music3 months ago

Podcast Review: Machine Gun Kelly on the CMN Podcast

Professional and informative.

by , SUNY Brockport

Great Reads

1 Step 1

Copyright © 2019 College Media Network