I've found two french reviews that I translated in english (in my imperfect english):
1/Review from "Le Nouvel Observateur" (a french magazine)
-the review in french:
Will Smith: «Lost and Found» (Interscope Records/Polydor).
Révélé au début des années 90 dans la célèbre série «Le Prince de Bel Air» sous l'oeil attentif de Quincy Jones, Will Smith continue à tisser sa toile entre hip-hop et comédie. Pas étonnant qu'il ouvre son album par un clin d'oeil avec la célèbre mélodie de «Spider Man» intitulé: «Here he comes».
Mais dès le deuxième titre «Party Starter», il nous rappelle qu'il a baigné dans le rap new-yorkais depuis sa plus tendre enfance. «Switch» garde presque la fraîcheur de l'album «Rock the house» réalisé avec DJ Jazzy Jeff, en 1987. Le son est brut, urbain, version old School, même si les propos et la voix ne sont pas agressifs.
Après «Mr. Niceguy», une sorte d'auto parodie, il retrouve sa voie avec»Lost & Found». Toutes ses bonnes intentions expliquent pourquoi le label de DR Dre et Eminem a cautionné l'opus où l'on retrouvent des pointures du rap tel Snoop dog sur «Pump Ya Brakes». La reine du R'N'B Mary J .Blige lui donne aussi la réplique sur le titre «Tell me why».
Le premier album solo de Will Smith «Big Willie style» est sorti dans les bacs en 1997. Il avait connu un gros succès populaire grâce notamment à «Men in black» le tube extrait de la bande originale du film. Depuis cette date, l'acteur a souvent interprété la BO des films dont il est la vedette principale. Avec cet opus, il renoue avec un hip-hop moins commercial
-the same review in english:
Will Smith: "Lost and Found" (Interscope Records/Polydor).
Revealed at the beginning of 1990's in the famous series "The Prince from Bel Air" under the Quincy Jones attentive eye, Will Smith goes on weaving his linen between hip-hop and comedy. It's not surprising he opens his album by a wink with the famous melody from "Spider Man" entitled: "Here he comes".
But as early as the second track "Party Starter", he reminds us he has steeped in the rap from New-York since his infancy. "Switch" almost keeps the freshness of the album "Rock the house" realised with DJ Jazzy Jeff, in 1987. The sound is rough, urban, version old school, even if the subjects and the voice aren't agressive. After "Mr Nice Guy", a kind of self-parody, he rediscovers his road with "Lost and found". All his good intentions explain why the Dr Dre and Eminem label supported his work in which we find important rap artists like Snoop dog on "Pump Ya Brakes". The R'N'B queen Mary J Blige is also present on the track "Tell me why".
The first solo album from Will Smith "Big Willie Style" released in 1997. It had known a huge popular success notably thanks to "Men in black", the hit song from the movie original band. Since this date, the actor has often interpreted the original bands of the movies in which he is the main star. With this album, he
comes back with an hip-hop that is less commercial.
2/ Review (that is really very laudatory) from a french website about rap (www.rap2k.com) :
-the review in french: http://www.rap2k.com/news_13019.html
(Note:I tried to copy the article here but that doesn't work so you have to go on the site in question if you want to read the review in french...).
-the same review in english:
Lost And Found
Will Smith, published par Sagittarius
It's the piece of introduction "Here he comes" on the air of the Spiderman's theme that inspired me for the introduction of my comment. Because, since the beginning, everything is said : Will Smith is the king of the feast, a cool and festive rapper, veteran of hip-hop who despises people who criticize him violently and who notes that he has forsaken hip-hop for movies, that he can't rap etc... It's not his Cesar of Honour and his millions of $ of fee that will stop him. Because what's the use of making a disc if you already earn your living well? To find your place again.
After "Party Starter", we mix then with "Switch", a hit song produced by Kwame. Contrary to his former albums, Will tests his renovated flows on some bangers at one and the same time modern, old schools almost innovative. Grilled samples be damned! The rhythm is excellent and the sounds are fresh ("I Wish I Made That/ Swagga", "If You Can't Dance (Slide)", the rock "Wave'em Off"). Of course it remains dancing rap "to live it up" but who will complain about that? We will also thank Timbaland for his participation with "Pump Ya Brakes" feat Snoop Dogg.
What will surprise some people, that's the pieces that draw from rap almost conscious. He gently puts Eminem in his place on "Mr Nice Guy", he practises "storytelling" on "Loretta" making efforts concerning writing. Mention "good" also for "Tell Me Why", reinforced by the choruses of Mary J Blige. In any case, Will Smith is brilliant and replaces things. A very good surprise from the new artist Interscope via Geffen, that a lot of people under-estimate just thinking about his name.
Incontestably, "Lost and found" remains the best solo album from Will Smith, much more personal and honest, effective and dancing that his "Big Willie Style" and his mediocre successors. Of course he won't reach the tops he already reached but listening to this disc in this period of rap surfing on the mainstream, sex and money, it makes feel very good.
The sleeve is also terrific!
Don't you think these both reviews are great? Not the slightest derogatory word about the album "Lost and found"!!! (and I swear I didn't falsify the translations lol). In addition, the guy who wrote the second review has also made reviews about "Big Willie Style", "Homebase" and "The Magnificient" and he gave the respective notes: 12/20 ; 15/20 and ... 20/20!!! This guy has good taste, right? Oh and what's funny is he also made a review about the album "The massacre" from 50 c**t. He gave him the note 14/20 but concludes like that (I translated) : "The audience who was expecting for a bomb will find it mediocre, contrary to people who will find it quite satisfying if they were expecting a disc without any interest. In fact, if 50 cent has lost a lot of street credibility, to sell his product is always what he does the best." (!!!) ...