The much-anticipated Jessie Ware sophomore album is finally out. Things haven’t changed radically after her first album got recognized as the album of the year and got a Mercury Prize in 2012. But Jessie Ware is a quiet kind of artist, and the one that may not blow you away completely at first but she’ll certainly be here for a while and at one point her voice will get to you for sure. So with that magic in her voice, with her previous producer Dave Okumu (of The Invisible) and a new one Benny Blanco (best known for his collaborations with Maroon 5- Moves like Jagger, Payphone; Katy Perry, Jessie J and many more), with a little help from her friends, such as Ed Sheeran, Dev Hynes and Miguel in the songwriting, Tough Love is an album worthy of the singer’s voice and image since all of these people were focused on making a Jessie Ware record and not a hit record.
The second single from the album, Say You Love Me, co-written with Ed Sheeran, has a clear Ed Sheeran stamp on it. However, the story of making this record is as spontaneous as it can be in the music industry today. Allegedly they met in New York one night and Ed Sheeran offered to write a song for her new album. The singer, as well, encouraged her regarding using her higher register and put into her some of his touring experiences. And naturally, a collaboration like this has got to yield a hit, which Say You Love Me will definitely become. It will give her a much needed attention of the single hit charts. And truth is she took it to a whole different level, with an emotional shotgun that her voice is.
Dev Hynes collaboration, Want Your Feeling, is a throwback down tempo with heavy bass guitar riffs and synths playing a monotonous tune in a different harmony giving impression of a total melodic bypassing, but it's actually pretty daring and innovative. Songs like Champagne Kisses, Cruel and Sweetest Song create perfect, sensual moments you don’t want to come out from. But not enough memorable melodic lines. Probably I’ll forget them later today when I stop listening to them. This is my problem with Jessie Ware, there must be a border between the heavily produced auto-tuned mainstream and faceless lounge, and I don’t want to see her in neither one of the two mentioned categories. She does let herself be laid bare and emotionally dismantled, but in such a shy way that it leaves me wanting more.
When I think of this album I will think of some great moments, Say You Love Me for some time, and Want Your Feeling forever since it makes a perfect moment for the album. From time to time I’ll play just the first couple of beats of Say You Love Me’’in medical purposes’’ or I’ll just want to hear again that cuckoo synths of Want Your Feeling. It’s a great album, although her velvety and cathartic voice deserves some more personal and distinctive songwriting, with one exception to that being Pieces, a laid bare down-tempo with a beat line reminding me of a typical Florence and the Machine moment. It's an honest confession with an interesting melodic plot in the bridge, and this is a moment when we see Jessie one hundred per cent and as she is.
I had to shatter to pieces, you made me reveal myself
So if you no longer need them, then give them to someone else
Even though our ears are used to some’fast love’ meaning we want some cheese we want the tears we want it all, Jessie Ware is harmonizing her way in the music business and remains a silent, sensual girl we will all, at one point of our lives, fall in love with.