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.
 

 


 

 

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