DevotionAlbum | Jessie Ware By Chris Payne
London newcomer unleashes her own quiet storm.
In an age when singers (especially emerging ones) are often branded and pre-packaged down to their most inscrutable details, Jessie Ware's music comes with no hidden agendas. Within the R&B playing field (where debut album Devotion most often falls) the South London singer isn't exactly courting the "retro" crowd, nor is she a hyper-contemporary millennial in the vein of Frank Ocean. Ware's classy brand of vocal-centric pop doesn't feel tied to any particular time or aesthetic; it echoes Sade and the Quiet Storm style of the '70s and '80s while simultaneously bringing to mind the more soulful moments of Nite Jewel and Chairlift. The 27-year old Ware sounds remarkably comfortable throughout Devotion's 11 songs, working with a tag team of producers in a manner that suggests a much more seasoned singer, perhaps on her second or third record. Ware's lyrics center on love and relationships, existing in a soothing, conceptual state that doesn't force specifics on the listener. All this makes for an alluring pop record that's highly immersive and heavy in replay potential.