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Jessie Ware - Glasshouse (Album Review)

Monday, 06 November 2017 Written by Huw Baines

Jessie Ware’s music has always tackled big feelings with a level of finesse that kept them from bleeding outside the lines. On ‘Glasshouse’, her third LP, that sensibility is teamed with newfound specificity to great effect.

The record is beautifully assembled and follows through on a promise made by 2014’s ‘Tough Love’: that Ware would excel as a polished balladeer. Here, on songs like Thinking About You and First Time, she enlivens one of pop’s most frequently moribund spaces through melodic feints and lived-in lyrics.

Ware’s words are several stages removed from florid metaphors and that honesty is vital. She writes about her daughter and the emotional graft required to keep a long-term relationship alive, but also of the aspirations and fears that walk in step with her.

“I hope I'm as brave as my mother, wondering what kind of mother will I be,” Ware sings on Sam, a song named after her husband. “I hope she knows that I've found a man far from my father.”

Despite writing alongside a raft of big name collaborators - the credits include Ed Sheeran, Ryan Tedder, Benny Blanco and Starsmith, among others - Ware retains tonal control, displaying confidence in the record’s slower numbers and a deft touch with its lighter moments.

Selfish Love and Your Domino are playful pop songs carried off with style, while she overruns the swampy R&B backing on Hearts with swift vocal phrases and a fizzing performance. Finish What We Started, arriving late in the day, leans into its ‘80s power ballad status just the right amount.

It’s not without blemishes - Midnight’s Jill Scott/Elton John collage is a little on the nose, while Ware’s words just save Sam from appearing rote - but as a whole ‘Glasshouse’ is a sumptuous record. It makes some well-worn moves feel deeply satisfying.

Jessie Ware Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows;

Tue March 20 2018 - GLASGOW Old Fruitmarket
Wed March 21 2018 - NEWCASTLE O2 Academy Newcastle
Fri March 23 2018 - MANCHESTER O2 Apollo
Sat March 24 2018 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Mon March 26 2018 - BRISTOL Colston Hall
Wed March 28 2018 - LONDON London Eventim Apollo
Thu March 29 2018 - LONDON London Eventim Apollo

Click here to compare & buy Jessie Ware Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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