Album Review: Devotion by Jessie Ware
Soulful vocalists are always pleasures to the senses. Adele surely knows how to dominate the charts even if her tracks are not EDM tracks. I really did not know who Jessie Ware was until I came across Wildest Moments (thoughts on this song will be found later in this post) in YouTube. Curiosity led to more interest on my part and eventually, I got convinced that Jessie Ware will be the ‘next big thing’ and subsequently bought her first LP Devotion in the process.
The problem with this post not getting published right away would be that honestly, I listened to Wildest Moments a lot before moving on to the other tracks of the album. In all honesty though, Devotion is one delicious effort that surely should brighten Jessie Ware’s prospects of becoming an established pop musician.
The title track has some jumpy percussions to boot as well as some carefully picked guitar sounds. Storytelling-wise, the subject matter may be as typical as ever but it is done in a convincing manner. The story basically concerns two lovers who had a sizzling romance before the romance starts to disintegrate slowly. Meanwhile, the best track of the album (yes, I am saying it this early), arguably of course, would be Wildest Moments. For people who have accustomed themselves to the sounds provided by the one and only Adele, Wildest Moments will surely be their so-called cup of tea. It is a well-crafted ballad that has some stinging drum beats to boot. Again, romance is clearly the subject matter with Ware singing “Baby, in our wildest moments, we could be the greatest / Baby, in our wildest moments, we could be the worst of all.” A convincing display of emotion is obviously present.
Another soulful track will get the hearts of the ballad-loving folk jumping. Taking In Water is as stunning as it gets. Backed by choir-esque “Woah-oh-oh”, the ballad showcases the proper way of conveying those emotions. It reminds me so much of Adele minus the belting of those high notes. This track effectively displays the right way of controlling yourself in a song. What’s glaring here is Ware does not resort to those high note theatrics and instead settles for a smoother rendition of her tracks and this actually works.
Sweet Talk may not have those stinging percussions from Wildest Moments but it still does not fail to charm the listener. The keyboard sound of the track reminded me of music coming from the 80s especially Carl Carlton’s cover of Baby I Need Your Loving (weird, I know). Rousing strings kick off Night Light and the track even is backed by the funky yet lovely bass line. The track has that sing-along-able quality that people will surely love.
110% is quite different from most of the offerings in the album but happens to be one of my favorites. The “Still dancing on my own” lyric may remind you of Robyn and that is absolutely fine. The track is, in a word, refreshing. It enables you to take a break from the slow-paced offerings of the album.
After listening to the album, I guess I now know why people have been giving Jessie Ware those insane amounts of praises. Devotion is in a class of its own. The songwriting and storytelling are superb. Devotion is definitely one of Jessie’s finest moments as a musician (lazy attempt at a pun but there you go). It definitely is one of those gems that end up putting your assumptions to shame after thinking you never thought it will be a gem. In my case, I just happened to give it a chance simply because of seeing Wildest Moments on YouTube. Boy, I never regret doing such after listening to it in its entirety.