Jessie Ware came to my attention whilst I was working at my retail job this summer and if you’ve had the pleasure of doing an 9 hour shift with the same looping playlist then you’ll near enough hate every song played. Oddly enough this English singer- songwriter really glued me to her.
Best known for her 2012 hit ‘Wildest Moments’ and reblogged on Beyoncé’s Tumblr, Jessie has some pressure with her sophomore album. The first single released on Tough Love is a song with the same title. This single was almost a tease as the song is so soft and gentle, making you want the complete album just after one listen. The lyrics are very insightful and seem to carry more meaning than the outset. "Tough Love" was compared to "Prince at his minimalist '80s best" by Pitchfork. This album is evidently a product of Prince, Sade and Kate Bush’s soul style, dubbed ‘neo-soul music’ by Ware.
My favourite single, Kind Of... Sometimes... Maybe, suggest confusion and uncertainty from the title. I love her references to drinks, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Johnny Walker, and Jack Daniel’s: “Do I get lonely at all? No, cause Jamie and Johnny and Jack keep me warm”. It seems that the Brit nominated singer is looking for her answers down in a bottle. After the album release, American rapper J. Cole was quick to remix this single from a male point of view which offers an interesting listening.
The newly married Londoner shows off her incredible vocals on Cruel. You wouldn’t even notice Jessie is singing about what seems like a real a**hole of a man, with her beautiful angelic voice she almost sugarcoats the issue. The medley lends such a soft and smoothing atmosphere.
Keep On lying sounds a little bit like an arcade game, Super Mario style. Maybe this is how Jessie feels the guy is treating her, like a game: “You give me directions every time you speak”. Much like in Kind Of... Sometimes... Maybe for example: “I won't show you my cards but you came and you lost” - both songs showing themes that love is a losing game.
She collaborated with Miguel, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith on this record, it’s a shame they didn’t lend vocal features to the album although I don’t think it’s required. Sweetest song provides that Sade- esque ambiance that I admire about Ms Ware. This song is very inspired by Sade’s - The Sweetest Taboo, very dreamy.
Prior to releasing Say You Love Me, the artist posted a remix by Shura on her Soundcloud. The remix is amazing, which made me question how the original would sound and also a bit mad at Jessie Ware for teasing us like that. The original will no doubt be the new love anthem of 2014 with Jessie mesmerising with her emphasis on “won’t you stayyy?”. It almost makes me want to cry. And the lovely surprise of the choir singing the chorus at the end gives it that innocent feel to it. The music video stars Jessica, looking evidently beautiful as ever yet so vulnerable, conveying her emotions of the lyrics whilst looking directly into the camera, very captivating.
Even with all the comparison to Adele and Sade, Jessie Ware in her own right deserves more awareness and praise. Tough Love is a fine piece of art. Definitely worth your ears’ attention.