Release Date: Feb 22, 2011
Record label: Island
On the fiery title track to her debut, 22-year-old Lauren Pritchard forsakes a drab life in her Tennessee hometown. It's a perfect calling card for a restless striver who performed in Spring Awakening before landing in London to record Wasted in Jackson. The album is all neo-Dusty drama: big voice, big strings, big heartache. It's formulaic, but it mixes Southern orneriness with Brit-style quirks; "Bad Time to Fall" is a happy funk tune about hating happy tunes, and on the Marcus Mumford-produced art-folk number "When the Night Kills the Day," Pritchard moans with the dark, outsize passion of Kate Bush.
On her debut album, Lauren Pritchard delivers a set of tunes that draw on the blues and Southern soul for inspiration, with Pritchard playing on the sweet and sour Dixie-fried twang in her voice, accompanied by a rich-sounding production that frequently nods to classic R&B tunes of the past. Of course, given how hard Pritchard strives to sound like a soul diva on these sessions, it's worth noting she's not as authentic as she wants you to believe -- while she was indeed born in Jackson, Tennessee, her previous musical experience consists of working with reggae and teen-pop acts and appearing in the Broadway production of Spring Awakening before relocating to London. So while Pritchard might have you imagine she just hopped off the tobacco truck, she and songwriter and producer Eg White (who has previously collaborated with such soul giants as Duffy and Adele) put a lot of work into giving this music just the right amount of radio-friendly grit, which may be why this album never quite hits the target it aims for, with the songs and production usually giving the game away with their bright sheen around the edges.
She’s got the potential to become a big star. Ian Wade 2010 While this is her debut album, 22-year-old Lauren Pritchard from Jackson (hence the title) Tennessee, is no stranger to showbiz. Since moving to LA at the age of 16, she spent two years in the cast of the musical Spring Awakening, tried to get her songwriting career off the ground as part of a duo, and had a spell fronting a reggae outfit.