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'Youth' review: Jordan Bratton, Long Island's teenage R&B phenom, makes self-assured debut

Jordan Bratton's "Youth" on RCA Records.

Jordan Bratton's "Youth" on RCA Records. Credit: RCA Records

Jordan Bratton has always been mature for his age. The R&B singer-songwriter from West Hempstead was only 4 when he sang a solo at Lincoln Center. He was only 11 when he joined the cast of "The Color Purple" on Broadway.

Bratton now seems wise far beyond his 19 years, on his major-label debut EP "Youth" (RCA). His topics are distinctly adult -- with titles like "Prisoner," "Danger" and "Cold Killer" -- and his vocals and arrangements brim with confidence.

On "Prisoner," he builds an indelible hook by layering his vocals without lapsing into gimmickry in the well-crafted song with Chance the Rapper. On "Danger," he comes on like the next Frank Ocean, a mighty task that he may just be able to pull off.

Jordan Bratton plays The Studio at Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th St., Manhattan, at 7 p.m. on July 9. Tickets are $12 through TicketWeb.


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