Jords is one of British music’s true all-rounders. The Croydon figure is a rapper and a songwriter, a singer and a producer, someone who can see music from all different kinds of angles. ‘Dirt In The Diamond’ – his long-awaited debut album – is his fullest statement to date, a work of soulful complexity that acts as a kind of musical autobiography.
An in-depth, extremely strong offering, highlights such as ‘Drill vs Grime’ show his natural finesse with the mic. Yet he can also flex – ‘FIST IN THE SKY’ is a beautiful moment, constructed alongside Jordan Mackampa, while ‘Enemies’ makes room for American star Masego and kadiata.
Tay Iawr graces ‘MoBay’, with Jords displaying his soulful dexterity. Likewise, the wonderful Bea Anderson breathes fresh light into ‘Beauty Spots’, with Kranium causing a ruckus on ‘Stay Close’.
Yet it’s not all about the features. A carefully curated experience, ‘Dirt In The Diamond’ also finds Jords finessing his own skills. ‘Caged Bird’ contains a careful sense of poetry, while the tender and true ‘(Not) A Long Song’ comes straight from the heart.
The end result of several years of work, ‘Dirt In The Diamond’ affords Jords space to speak his truth in widescreen. A work with a palpable narrative quality, it looks to inter-generational truths while exploring differing facets of Black British identity. Underneath the grand concepts, however, is an artist revelling in the craft on an excellent debut album.
Words: Robin Murray