Let me start by saying I can’t remember the last time I anticipated a debut album quite as much as Devotion by Jessie Ware. I was blown away upon hearing Running a few months back, and with every flawless track she has released since that my excitement grew. I finally got my hands on an advance a few weeks ago and have been playing it non-stop ever since, Devotion has certainly lived up to my high expectations based on the quality of the first singles Running, Wildest Moments and 110% .
Ware first caught my attention with her collaborations with SBTRKT and Sampha, those resulted in her signing to PMK for the release of her debut. On the album production duties went to Dave Okumu of The Invisible and house producer Julio Bashmore. Rather than showcasing her gorgeous voice through straight up Whitney Houston style ballads, they chose a more interesting route and crafted phenomenal modern sounding productions which when mixed with Ware’s classic soulful voice create a more intricate and engaging soundscape.
These emotion soaked songs will surely make an impression on you if you are a lover of classics like Sade. Quite simply it’s really just a phenomenal album, one of the best of the year, a perfect blend of soul and pop with a dance flavor and a wonderful nostalgic feel in places. This is album is so strong that I could easily name each and every song as a standout, but my absolute favorite tracks are the super smooth Sweet Talk which sounds like a classic 80s soul track, the sultry laid back groove Swan Song, and of course the gloriously smokey Running.
Keep your eye on her, she’s going places!
Devotion is set for release 8/20 in the U.K and 8/21 in the U.S. Stream it below.