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A Real Contender
on 30 August 2012
With this distinctive debut Jessie Ware looks set to make a
substantial dent in the fabric of the listening world. With
so many talented British female singer/songwriters jumping
out of the woodwork the competition is ever-tougher but with
her no-nonsense vocals (an instrument of restrained passion),
instinctive grasp of light and shade and sure grasp of how to
turn a simple tune into a living, breathing whole, she clearly
has the ability and strength to make her own mark in the ether.
The album is a largely down-beat affair and although comparisons
with Sade are not unwarranted she seems to me to be blessed with
something a tad more gritty and "edgy" than many a sweet-soul-diva.
Having producer Dave Okumu at the helm helps her mission no-end.
He brings an admirable depth and texture to the proceedings which
delivers a distinctive framework within which she can really shine.
Take a number like 'No To Love' : the crisp backbeat, chattering
guitar and bouncing bass put me in mind of some of Grace Jones'
best 80's recordings. The moody cello introduction to 'Night Light',
too, paves the way for a particularly expressive vocal performance
and the cracking melody of 'Wildest Moments' may well give Leona Lewis
good reason to look over her shoulder and feel not a little anxious.
It's hard to pick a clear winner with so many good tracks on offer but
(subject to my ever-changing whims) single 'Running' is a real contender.
A truly impressive first showing.