Jessie Ware’s got the kind of neo-soul voice that pairs perfectly with the deep, heavy, space-age -sounding electronic music. Some tracks in the album, clearly designed for heavy radio play, do an excellent job of showcasing her vocal range and tone (spoiler alert: she’s got quite a strong set of vocal cords). Solid sophomore debut from the singer; influences range from 70s groove (a la Blood Orange), deep house (a la SBTRKT or Disclosure) and downright moodiness (Banks often comes to mind).
**1. (3:27) Title track. Minimal backing synth and low, controlled vox build up a lot of tension—which, for some reason, dissipates rather than explodes. Regardless, definitely worth radio play. A well-made experiment in self-restraint.
*2. (3:59) Very echoey melody layered atop very echoey vocals. Ethereal, think night drives.
3. (3:52) There’s some interesting work being done with pulsing percussion and vibing synth, but lost on a bit of an unmemorable melody.
*4. (4:17) Heavy percussion and strong, sultry, soul-infused vocals. Follows a somewhat prototypical sweeping ballad pattern, but the build up towards the end of the song (Ware’s vox backed by a gorgeous choral ensemble) is an absolute gem.
***5. (3:27) Slightly droney, buzzy backing synth and layered vox make for a dark, dreamy electro-soul track. Love it.
*6. (3:34) Bloops and bleeps in float in the background; track sweeps you off your feet with whirlwind vocals/harmonizations + sporadic choppy backing synth in the chorus.
**7. (4:22) 70s bassline and bells (?) frame the melody—that 70s influence comes out in fuller force during the groove-tinged chorus. Fun song.
8. (3:26) Extremely ballad-y. Dark, echoey, builds up with stirring strings and crashing percussion. Very radio-friendly.
9. (3:29) Synth sounds slightly video game-y, weirdly juxtaposed with angelic chorus that backs and punctuates some of Ware’s vocals.
***10. (3:23) Ware busts out the falsetto croons atop minimalist guitar, subtle strings and waves of pulsing synth. The simple composition makes it
**11. (3:12) Loads of reverb thrown on everything from vox to booming background percussion a Twin Peaks-Ensue bassline. I like the echo, though; makes for a pretty fun heightened sense of melodrama.