On her sophomore effort, Tough Love, Jessie Ware’s brand of effortlessly chic Brit-soul continues to charm listeners thanks to its sensual air and contemplative tone on all things heartbreak related.
Producers Benny Blanco and Two Inch Punch, together under the moniker BenZel, have provided Ware with lush arrangements that cushion her elegant, airy vocals. On the title-track, the production buoys the sentiments of self doubt and despair with a sparse electronic undercurrent, while on ‘Pieces,’ frosty strings add drama to the confession of an emotional hemorrhage.
Ware’s voice can, at times, have a nonchalant quality to it, but on cuts like ‘Cruel’ and ‘Say You Love Me’, her stirring vocal performances showcase her true range. On the former, her feathery timbre floats effortlessly as she recounts her insecurities, while the latter culminates in an exhilarating gospel tinged choral crescendo.
‘Want Your Feeling’ and ‘Midnight Caller’ exhibit disco elements that make both songs standouts and they also serve to add some warmth to the wintery feel of the album. ‘Kind of…Sometimes…Maybe’ radiates a sleek 60’s soul feel with a contemporary twist and the intermittent synths on ‘Share It All’ colour its mostly barebones characteristics.
Building ever so slightly on the sonic styling of her debut, Jessie Ware establishes herself as act synonymous with class. Refined, vulnerable and cool, Tough Love is one of 2014’s most timeless efforts.
Go grab yourself a copy of Tough Love now from iTunes.