I first came across Jessie Ware through a YouTube advertisement. It was just after she sang the highlight verse of the song, “Say You Love Me,” that I realized I needed to Google her name and listen to her entire album.
It was fortunate that Ware’s sophomore album, “Tough Love,” which was released on Oct. 13 through iTunes did not disappoint me in any way. Born in 1984, the 30-year-old English singer offered an honest, refreshing voice into music that certainly differed from the influx of boisterous beats produced in pop music.
Ware’s new collection of songs followed an overarching trend of love, loss and relationships. While the first song, “Tough Love,” introduced unique and modern beats smoothed out by Ware’s soulful vocals, “You & I (Forever)” offered surreal and wistful sentiments for a perfect relationship. The echoing sounds and a fairy-tale-like theme of the song reminded me of Florence and the Machine.
Some of my favorites from Ware’s album included “Say You Love Me” and “Kind of…Sometimes…Maybe.” In “Say You Love Me,” the acoustic background helped accentuate Ware’s graceful yet powerful voice as it reached an unforgettable chorus. Ware’s emotions matched directly with the desperate feeling that one might feel in an unrequited love. Additionally, “Kind of…Sometimes…Maybe” presented a catchy chorus consisting of the three words in the title.
As the album progressed, it gradually altered its beat to a more bubbly and positive tone. Songs such as “Keep On Lying” and “Champagne Kisses” brought a bright and more lighthearted atmosphere into the album, and it was possible to hear Ware’s high-tone voice more frequently. “All On You” also followed a similar pattern and adorned its melody with a retro beat.
However, the album ultimately followed its title, “Tough Love,” and presented a more serious tone into relationships by showcasing her soulful voice and candid emotions. As the album neared its end, “The Way We Are” reminisced difficulties that arise in relationships, bringing back the surreal feeling of her songs by layering her voices in an echo. The deluxe version of the album consisted of four more songs, including “The Way We Are,” and ended with “Midnight Caller,” which concluded Ware’s narrative of love with a dark and powerful melody.
Throughout the entire album, Ware’s graceful voice fit brilliantly with the cool vibes and electric beats of the songs, presenting an interesting combination of classic and modern styles. It was unfortunate that several songs of the album seemed to resemble each other and did not show their individual characteristics. However, Ware’s honest depictions of love and the artistic mastery of her songs certainly qualified her music as something that should certainly be listened to and appreciated.