Jessie Ware: Tough Love


Jessie Ware first burst onto the scene in 2012 with her first album ‘Devotion’, but it wasn’t until Glastonbury 2013 that I really stopped to take note of her extraordinary sound. Whilst back then, she could easily be mistaken for the latest alternative pop star (albeit a fantastic one), it’s the release of her second studio album ‘Tough Love’ that has cemented her credibility as an artist and musician. Since coming to fame, Ware has definitely grown up; approaching 30, getting engaged and then married, which is entirely reflected in the tone, lyrics and even the artwork of this album.

‘Tough Love’ is a sensual journey of love lost, found and evolved. Eleven tracks, curated wonderfully into a session of alternative ballads that lightly touched on the many musical influences in her life. With the help of writers and producers Kid Harpoon, Dave Okumu, Julio Bashmore, Miguel, James Ford, Nineteen85, Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran, it’s no wonder these songs have been likened to everyone from early Prince to gospel.

The heartachingly gentle, ‘Say You Love Me’ (the result of a collaboration with British singer songwriter Ed Sheeran), has the potential to push me over the edge should I listen to it’s lyrics a little too closely but is balanced by tracks like ‘Cruel’ that are much more true to Ware’s iconic style. Some of the lyrics and especially the song titles (i.e. ‘Champagne Kisses’ and ‘You And I Forever’) have the potential to fall into the ‘cheese’ category, but the combination of her ethereal voice and experimental production allows all of these songs to be taken seriously.

Overall, a fantastic album that complimented but also surpassed the musical achievement of her first.


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