Devoted to Jessie Ware
by: Blaine Skrainka
August 19, 2012
There’s something about Jessie Ware — we cannot get enough. She embodies everything that one could want in a burgeoning pop star: smart fashion, intricate beats, and a voice that carries you to the clouds. After following her up-and-coming career as a guest vocalist in the electronic dance music scene, we could not wait to finally get a taste of her solo work. Today, her debut album Devotion hits the stores, and by all accounts exceeds expectations.
Ware first made her name with killer contributions to heavy hitters SBTRKT and Joker (see: “Right Thing To Do” and “The Vision,” respectively), making dubstep not only bearable but completely enjoyable. She tells Digital Spy “I’m so glad I did dance first, it was the best experience and I want to keep featuring on those types of songs.” For better or for worse, Devotion is not full of club bangers. Instead, we get a sultry and soulful mix of R&B pop more in line with these older singles: “Strangest Feeling” and “Valentine.” Ware of course does not completely shy away from her roots: “I wanted to put as much hip-hop on the album as I could get away with.”
A few key tracks hold a nice sampling of the album as a whole, showing the range of Ware’s direction. Anchored by a light drum ‘n’ bass beat, “110%” exemplifies Ware’s seamless transition from dance to soulful pop. A male voice, courtesy of producer Dave Okumu, colors a handful of the cuts, especially notable with his flow in “No To Love.” The commercially appealing hit “Wildest Moments” is unforgettable in a brilliant way, stacking up with the likes of the legendary Sade, and another twenty-something Londoner, the universally-adored Adele. The overall production of Devotion is pure class.
Jessie Ware is a model for contemporary sophistication in electronic pop music; Devotion is definitely an album to get lost in. We simply love the downtempo thoughtfulness and restraint, but for those of you that were hoping for something a bit more up, don’t worry — this record was made to be remixed.