Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Artist of the Day: Jessie Ware

From humble beginnings as a sample vocalist working with London-based DJ SBTRKT, Jessie Ware released her debut album last year to widespread critical acclaim but little recognition in the United States. Once word about Ware gets out, however, it shouldn't be long before she becomes an across-the-pond sensation in the same manner as Adele. After all, the two share a talent for big-voiced ballads about men who broke their hearts. Ware, however, breaks the mold of the traditional breakup songs. On "Wildest Moments," she reflects on the relationship from nearly every perspective rather than wallowing in her own emotions. "110%" finds Ware in a moment of pensiveness, pondering what makes a healthy relationship work and how much effort is necessary. More than anything else, she seems to be a genuine human; as ready to accept blame as to give it out- a fresh break from the contemporary "I got dumped and he sucked anyway" motto that pop starlets tend to embody.

Further setting Ware apart is the production aspect of her music. Her experience with the DJ scene is evidenced on title track "Devotion," but it's on full band backed songs like "Running" that really highlight her uniqueness. Where she could go over-the-top and belt out a massive chorus, she choose to scale back and simplify- briefly allowing the music to do its own talking when it needs to. She's Grimes on steroids; she's Adele with a sense of musical theory, or more accurately, she's the beautiful marriage of their more evident talents. No, she doesn't do the production on her own, that would be Dave Okumu as the mastermind of arrangement, but she has the sense of what works and what doesn't down to a T. An artist of her age knowing her limits and keeping things in check is seriously exciting stuff. As Mike Diver of the BBC said about her "There's nothing 'next' about Ware: she's here, now, and superb." Couldn't have said it better myself. 


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