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Pop - Released June 26, 2020 | Virgin EMI

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Pop - Released October 20, 2017 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

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Pop - Released February 28, 2020 | Virgin EMI

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Pop - Released October 20, 2017 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

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Pop - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

A handful of collaborations released during 2010 and 2011 hinted at Jessie Ware's range and potential. The singer outclassed her fellow vocalists on SBTRKT's SBTRKT and Joker's The Vision; she displayed exquisite restraint on the former's "Right Thing to Do," while she had her way with the latter's lancing title track. Along with the two low-key 2011 singles, "Valentine" and "Strangest Feeling," there were indications that Ware was capable of making something like Devotion -- an album of uncommon depth, a sophisticated but stimulating hybrid of pop, soul, and adult contemporary. Ware works extensively with Dave Okumu, Julio Bashmore, and Kid Harpoon, but it's Okumu -- a member of the Invisible, as well as an affiliate of Bugz in the Attic and Matthew Herbert -- who is most responsible for helping Ware prance across the tightrope that comes with making subtle, sophisticated music. Ware's voice is an instant draw. Her whispers are as powerful as her wails. Whenever the lyrics read like they're aiming for the profound but appear hollow, she rescues them with elegance and power impressive enough to astound any of the elders to whom she has been compared -- Alison Moyet, Annie Lennox, Sade Adu, and Lisa Stansfield included. Take the weakest link, "No to Love"; the repeated exasperation "Who says no to love?" seems utterly ridiculous, but the delivery fits into the all-consuming heartache that is alternately concealed and exposed throughout the set's duration. If this isn't the album of the year, it's at least the art-pop album of the year, or the neo-sophisti-pop album of the year, or -- beside Frank Ocean's Channel Orange -- the alternative R&B album of the year. As far as "proper music" from the U.K. is considered, it belongs in a class with Roxy Music's Avalon, Sade's Diamond Life, the Blue Nile's Hats, and Caron Wheeler's UK Blak. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Pop - Released August 4, 2014 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

None of the singles from Devotion, Jessie Ware's debut, cracked the U.K. Top 40, but the album peaked at number five and was nominated for the 2012 Mercury Prize. Nominations for several MOBO and BRIT awards further substantiated the singer and songwriter's breakout status. By the time follow-up Tough Love was released in 2014, the album had already placed two singles in the Top 40. Both were produced by BenZel, the teenaged duo of Umi Takahashi and Yoko Watanabe. Lead single "Tough Love" wasn't far from the singer and songwriter's previous ballads, sumptuous with some aching falsetto lines, as well as drum sounds filched from "Little Red Corvette" as effectively as anything produced by the-Dream and Los da Mystro. "Say You Love Me," the second one, was her biggest hit at that point, written with Ed Sheeran. The album has the same high level of sophistication as Devotion. Somewhat surprisingly, Dave Okumu, who played a major role in Devotion, has a hand in only two songs, both of which function as high-quality album tracks that are more about mood than anything else. "Sweetest Song," delicate like meringue with sighing synthesizers and light guitar prickles, pleases much more than the other. There are three additional BenZel collaborations. Surprisingly, the one not written with Miguel, "Champagne Kisses," is the best of the bunch. Ware continues to express a multitude of emotions with superb elegance. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2012 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

A handful of collaborations released during 2010 and 2011 hinted at Jessie Ware's range and potential. The singer outclassed her fellow vocalists on SBTRKT's SBTRKT and Joker's The Vision; she displayed exquisite restraint on the former's "Right Thing to Do," while she had her way with the latter's lancing title track. Along with the two low-key 2011 singles, "Valentine" and "Strangest Feeling," there were indications that Ware was capable of making something like Devotion -- an album of uncommon depth, a sophisticated but stimulating hybrid of pop, soul, and adult contemporary. Ware works extensively with Dave Okumu, Julio Bashmore, and Kid Harpoon, but it's Okumu -- a member of the Invisible, as well as an affiliate of Bugz in the Attic and Matthew Herbert -- who is most responsible for helping Ware prance across the tightrope that comes with making subtle, sophisticated music. Ware's voice is an instant draw. Her whispers are as powerful as her wails. Whenever the lyrics read like they're aiming for the profound but appear hollow, she rescues them with elegance and power impressive enough to astound any of the elders to whom she has been compared -- Alison Moyet, Annie Lennox, Sade Adu, and Lisa Stansfield included. Take the weakest link, "No to Love"; the repeated exasperation "Who says no to love?" seems utterly ridiculous, but the delivery fits into the all-consuming heartache that is alternately concealed and exposed throughout the set's duration. If this isn't the album of the year, it's at least the art-pop album of the year, or the neo-sophisti-pop album of the year, or -- beside Frank Ocean's Channel Orange -- the alternative R&B album of the year. As far as "proper music" from the U.K. is considered, it belongs in a class with Roxy Music's Avalon, Sade's Diamond Life, the Blue Nile's Hats, and Caron Wheeler's UK Blak. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Pop - Released November 6, 2019 | Virgin EMI

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Pop - Released May 7, 2020 | Virgin EMI

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Pop - Released April 24, 2020 | Virgin EMI

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Pop - Released August 4, 2014 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

None of the singles from Devotion, Jessie Ware's debut, cracked the U.K. Top 40, but the album peaked at number five and was nominated for the 2012 Mercury Prize. Nominations for several MOBO and BRIT awards further substantiated the singer and songwriter's breakout status. By the time follow-up Tough Love was released in 2014, the album had already placed two singles in the Top 40. Both were produced by BenZel, the teenaged duo of Umi Takahashi and Yoko Watanabe. Lead single "Tough Love" wasn't far from the singer and songwriter's previous ballads, sumptuous with some aching falsetto lines, as well as drum sounds filched from "Little Red Corvette" as effectively as anything produced by the-Dream and Los da Mystro. "Say You Love Me," the second one, was her biggest hit at that point, written with Ed Sheeran. The album has the same high level of sophistication as Devotion. Somewhat surprisingly, Dave Okumu, who played a major role in Devotion, has a hand in only two songs, both of which function as high-quality album tracks that are more about mood than anything else. "Sweetest Song," delicate like meringue with sighing synthesizers and light guitar prickles, pleases much more than the other. There are three additional BenZel collaborations. Surprisingly, the one not written with Miguel, "Champagne Kisses," is the best of the bunch. Ware continues to express a multitude of emotions with superb elegance. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Pop - Released February 13, 2019 | Virgin EMI

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Pop - Released September 8, 2017 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

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Pop - Released June 26, 2020 | Virgin EMI

Rhapsodic dancefloor intimacy became a new specialization for Jessie Ware with "Overtime," the first in a wave of tracks the singer released from 2018 up to the June 2020 arrival of What's Your Pleasure?, her fourth album. Other than "Adore You," a chiming glider made with Metronomy's Joseph Mount, each one in the series was either produced or co-produced by James Ford, consolidating and rerouting a partnership that started during the making of Tough Love. Unlike Ford and Ware's collaborations on that 2014 LP, the new material didn't merely simmer. Hottest of all, "Mirage (Don't Stop)" worked a ripe disco-funk groove with Ware's opening line, "Last night we danced, and I thought you were saving my life" -- sighed in a Bananarama cadence -- a sweet everything if there ever was one. The loved-up energy was kept in constant supply with the dashing "Spotlight," the Freeez-meet-Teena Marie-at-Compass-Point bump of "Ooh La La," and the sneaky Euro-disco belter "Save a Kiss." All but "Overtime" are included here. That makes the album somewhat anti-climactic, but there's no sense in complaining when the preceding singles keep giving and the new material is almost always up to the same standard. Among the fresh standouts, the bounding Morgan Geist co-production "Soul Control" and the dashing "Step Into My Life" recontextualize underground club music with as much might and finesse as anything by Róisín Murphy. Stylistic deviations are few, well-placed, and maintain lyrical continuity with references to the senses as they relate to emotional and physical connection. "In Your Eyes" recalls Massive Attack's "Safe from Harm" with its hypnotizing bassline, subtly theatrical strings, and aching (if less desperate) vocal. Moving in gradually intensifying and similarly slow motion, "The Kill" enables Ware to let down her guard for an unassured lover. "Remember Where You Are," a stirring finale, takes a little trip to cherish the daybreak in Minnie Riperton and Charles Stepney's chamber folk-soul garden, replete with a goosebump-raising group vocal in the chorus. One can almost smell the baby's breath. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Pop - Released August 4, 2014 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

None of the singles from Devotion, Jessie Ware's debut, cracked the U.K. Top 40, but the album peaked at number five and was nominated for the 2012 Mercury Prize. Nominations for several MOBO and BRIT awards further substantiated the singer and songwriter's breakout status. By the time follow-up Tough Love was released in 2014, the album had already placed two singles in the Top 40. Both were produced by BenZel, the teenaged duo of Umi Takahashi and Yoko Watanabe. Lead single "Tough Love" wasn't far from the singer and songwriter's previous ballads, sumptuous with some aching falsetto lines, as well as drum sounds filched from "Little Red Corvette" as effectively as anything produced by the-Dream and Los da Mystro. "Say You Love Me," the second one, was her biggest hit at that point, written with Ed Sheeran. The album has the same high level of sophistication as Devotion. Somewhat surprisingly, Dave Okumu, who played a major role in Devotion, has a hand in only two songs, both of which function as high-quality album tracks that are more about mood than anything else. "Sweetest Song," delicate like meringue with sighing synthesizers and light guitar prickles, pleases much more than the other. There are three additional BenZel collaborations. Surprisingly, the one not written with Miguel, "Champagne Kisses," is the best of the bunch. Ware continues to express a multitude of emotions with superb elegance. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Pop - Released October 3, 2018 | Virgin EMI

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Pop - Released August 31, 2017 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

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Pop - Released October 20, 2017 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Jessie Ware's third album is packed with finely woven adult-pop ballads about lust, longing, commitment, and reassurance -- all traits shared with Devotion and Tough Love -- but it couldn't have been made at any other point in the artist's life. The singer and songwriter aimed to complete it by the time she gave birth to her daughter. After some critical straight talk from collaborator Benny Blanco, Ware scrapped an unspecified amount of new material and finished Glasshouse after her daughter was born. The album's standard edition closes with the lone song where the references to Ware's life are specific. Written before she had informed her mother of her pregnancy, "Sam" -- named after her husband -- articulates a mix of joy, gratitude, and anxiety via a predominantly acoustic ballad (an Ed Sheeran collaboration indeed). A listener oblivious to Ware's private life wouldn't know the full circumstances in which the other songs were written. When Ware sings about missing her baby on "Thinking About You," she means her newborn, with the sweetly yearning "I just wanna feel every little beat when I'm thinking 'bout you" the only obvious indicator that she's not referring to her partner. Glasshouse incorporates the work of over a dozen producers and roughly twice as many additional songwriters. The glistening "Last of the True Believers," a coup of a collaboration (though not a full-scale duet) with the Blue Nile's Paul Buchanan, tightens up the second half with Ware fantasizing about an intimate retreat from the city. That song deserves widespread maximum rotation, along with "Midnight," an exquisite pre-album single co-written and co-produced by wisest collaborative match Pop Wansel (Alessia Cara's "Here," Kehlani's "Distraction"). © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Pop - Released December 15, 2017 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

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Pop - Released July 28, 2017 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.