Lauren Pritchard – Wasted in Jackson
- Review by Adrian Brown
Lauren Pritchard’s debut album
‘Wasted in Jackson’ has been hotly anticipated here at
Music Utopia. Lauren was brought to our attention in
March 2010 when we saw her live at the small and
intimate ‘Kitchen Garden Café’ in Birmingham. We would
normally send out one person to cover a small gig but I
said “I’ve got a good feeling about this one” so three
of us went and boy we were not disappointed. Quite the
contrary: we were blown away by her incredible vocal
talent and song writing to match and I can honestly say
it’s one of the best gigs I’ve ever had the pleasure to
experience. With talent like this the days of seeing
Lauren Pritchard at such an intimate gig are long gone.
Some of the songs on ‘Wasted in
Jackson’ we are already familiar with and are regularly
playing while we work so we already know and love them
but there are a couple of songs that are new to us, at
least in recorded form.
In its understated brilliance the
album leads you through an exploration of Lauren’s life
in Jackson, Tennessee and more recently, London. Her
vocals are given plenty of room to breathe allowing us
to hear every crafted lyric and soulful intonation as
her feelings of home town isolation and unfulfilled
relationships are delivered with her amazing voice in
tender moments and powerful choruses. I’ve met Lauren
twice now and it still amazes me that such power can
come from such a tiny person.
With no small contribution in
production, writing, arrangement and musicianship from
such musical heavyweights as Eg White, Ed Harcourt and
Mumford and Sons, it was assured that service to the
songs would be maintained and the finished product would
be a winner.
This is definitely a pop album but
its roots are firmly ensconced in country blues ground
landing her firmly in Joss Stone’s territory and if were
Joss I’d be keeping a close eye on her.
If I had one gripe, and it is just a
small one, I’d say that ‘When the Night Kills the Day’ –
brilliant though it is – feels incongruous to the rest
of the album and I wonder if it should have been
released as a standalone single. It is unmistakably
Lauren Pritchard but has a very different production
quality to it that makes one feel it belongs elsewhere.