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The hype and expectations that have preceded Jessie Ware’s brand new debut album Devotion have caused the air to vibrate among discussing music friends. Following the fantastic singles Running, Wildest Moments and perhaps most of all, the spring’s lovely masterpiece – 110% the speculations have been about how good the full album will be, not just if. Through her earlier collaborations with for instance SBTRKT, Joker and Disclosure she has shown evidence of an outstanding voice reminiscent of the finest moments of classical and untamed Whitney Houston or Chaka Khan. As solo artists however, she skilfully erases all eventual traces of her role models, partly thanks to the natural and exact combination of Jessie’s song and the production that Dave Okumu, Kid Harpoon and soon to be mega-Julio Bashmore have juggled in the studio. But most of all she has a remarkable way of joining the song-writing, and a personal expression that has more in common with the XX’s fascinating way of experimenting with low-key tones and silence as an natural ingredient in their music.
The result is an album echoing of recognition: the songs are traditionally written with a more modern sound than the longest night in a big city. When Bashmore leads her through Sweet Talk, her cover of Bobby Caldwells What You Won’t Do for Love is rewarded with its righteous twin. It is blue-eyed soul packed in a pop-song in the company of a skewed and peculiar Fender Rhodes. Devotion was released the 22nd of August and has been celebrated in its homeland UK as well as here in Sweden. Jessie Ware at Berns the third of December sounds like a beautiful dream, ready to be realised.
Have a listen to Night Light, currently listed on Swedish national radio P3.