Jessie Ware, “Tough Love”
British R & B singer-songwriter Jessie Ware released her debut album Devotion in 2012 to almost unanimous praise from critics and fans. The sultry record garnered Ware a number five spot on the UK album charts, a Mercury Prize nomination, and a fair amount of mentions on year-end lists. All the accolades make complete sense. Ware crafts very urbane pop music using very modern electronic and dance sensibilities as the backbone. On sophomore release Tough Love she’s leaning harder on pop sensibilities. The results are mostly optimistic. “Sweetest Song” and “Desire” possess radiant atmospheres and would fit well on Ware’s debut, but “You & I (Forever)” sees Ware venturing into conventional radio territory, yet still being reserved. More lyrically generic songs, such as “Pieces” and “Champagne Kisses,” still have the capacity to draw the listener in with their sleek melodies. Overall, Tough Love feels like a warm embrace in the middle of winter.