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.
The production is beautiful but not overdone, the bass on the opening track devotion draws you in to one of those early morning club rundowns that i dimly remember from my youth while something i side walks you into the beginning of the day its a fantastic start to a fantastic record that shows 'pop' can be more than just repetitive lyrics and empty concepts...and Jesse Ware can actually sing
So i cottoned onto jessie ware through SBTRKT as i'm sure most others have, and i thank goodness that i did!
i watched her perform their track nervous at the boiler room on 'that video sharing website', and that made my mind up!
i've got really varying tastes in music, and in fact when i bought this album i also bought frank oceans channel orange, drakes take care, kate bushes the whole story, alex clares the lateness of the hour and a rock album by american head charge (if you know this band then you know they are miles apart in taste from the other albums named!).
baring that in mind, and how good the other albums are, i can safely say for me, that ms wares work is stronger and more connective than any other i have listened to for quite some time!! i love frank ocean, and kate bush, (in fact i'd class myself mainly a QOTSA fan first and foremost) but blimey - POW!! haven't stopped listening to Devotion since buying it! the sequence of events went - listened to frank, then drake,then kate, then jessie.... sorry alex clare, your album might be great but i haven't changed cd in my cd player since putting jessie's cd in!!
personally i connect with this album. i heard someone (maybe it was an interviewer recently) liken her work to that of Sade.. i'd have to agree, and the uk thanks you.. forget about that tv karaoke contest, in Jessie Ware we trust!
A beautiful collection of songs delivered by a classy British singer, also bought Tough Love which is equally brilliant, shame that none of the radio stations gave it any air time, they just seem to play the same tunes all day long.
I bought this because I loved her voice when I heard her sing on TV. She really does have a lovely voice but by the third song I got bored. There just isn't enough dynamics in the production. It all sounds much the same. A really good CD for me will have loads of variation and differences in it. This CD didn't have it for my taste. I think this is an artist to watch out for in the future if she just stretches herself much more.
Simply put English singer-songwriter Jessie Ware has delivered an impressively assured debut here; that's more sophisticated, forward thinking and heartfelt than any other pop record i've heard all year! Her voice is the real highlight of Devotion and it's wisely front and centre on every song here, as a description i'd say it delightfully recalls the impassioned soul of chaka khan, the sultry smoothness of Sade Adu and the blue eyed soprano of Christina Aguilera. The production that accompanies Jessie's lovely singing is a deft blend of contemporary electronica and 80's soul that culminates to create a smoky resonant ambience thorughout this albums duration.
Love, relationships and the trials and tribulations that are often associated with these subjects, appears to be Jessie's raison d'etre on a lot of this album and it may sound MOR or unoriginal on paper, but she breathes life into these well worn topics by delivering some inspired lyricism thats appropriately ambiguous and her touchingly expressive vocal style is likely to thaw even the iciest of hearts. Devotion is an album in the truest sense of the word so it should be listened to in it's entirity, however for those who are unfamiliar with Jessie Ware but are tempted to pick this up i'd recommend "Sweet Talk" and the title track as a perfect introduction to this talented artists excellent debut.
I first heard Jessie Ware on Youtube whilst looking for new music back in the Summer and listened to her single "Wildest Dreams" which I found instantly addictive. I was in two minds about buying the album "Devotion" on its release as I have often been disappointed by new artists, but my curiosity got the better of me as always. I was very pleasantly surprised by how mature this record sounds and how well composed it is.
The opener and title track "Devotion" is a sensual and appeasing song with soft layered vocals from Jessie. The single "Wildest Dreams" is the perfect Pop song - great melody, infectious arrangements and sweet powerful vocals making it the instant highlight on here. "Running" is a hypnotic song with those soft vocal harmonies once again, reminding me of something Lisa Stansfield or Sade could have released back in the late 80's. The second highlight "Still Love Me" is a retro sounding 80's Dance track with bizarre vocal arrangements and beats, this time reminiscent of the Eurythmics. "No To Love" is another suave mixture of R&B, Soul and Pop with a great bassline and melody making it the third highlight of the album. The fourth highlight "Night Light" starts off with a chilling string section and builds into a somptuous Pop song with a majestic sounding chorus. "Swan Song" is another atmospheric track with gentle vocal harmonies whilst "Sweet Talk" and "110%" are sweet mellow R&B joints. "Taking In Water" is a very beautiful and passionate ballad with powerful vocals and an instantly infectious chorus making it the fifth and final highlight. The albums ends with "Something Inside", a tranquil song that sounds like water flowing through a stream and a gentle gust of wind rustling through the tree branches.
Jessie Ware's debut album "Devotion" is filled with elegance and sophisticated song writing. The melodies are very well crafted and the vocals are so sweet and sensual. She is definitely a new artist to watch out for over the next few years and is extremely talented. A great purchase and a very pleasant surprise indeed.