Mercury Prize Nominee Jessie Ware With Devotion
Jessie Ware is a name that has been banded about quite a bit recently, yet the comment about her that stuck with me is that she’s impossible to stick in a genre, impossible to classify. This I find good, why should everyone be pigeonholed? Why should each artist be judged as rock or pop or folk? I think someone who flits between all genres is to be cherished, they’re truly talented. They don’t stick with what they know but go out and explore.
Which is why I chose her album to review first, she intrigued me.
She favours a soft voice, she sings so gently that sometimes it feels that a breeze could come along and blow her vocals away. But in the third track, Running, her voice gets stronger and there’s this certain edge to it that gives it some ‘oomph’ and it really begins to sell her talent to the listener.
Yet the most obvious thing about this album is that she is indeed indefinable.
She croons and she belts and uses synths, she’s cool and emotional Devotion is an amalgamation, a melting pot of all her influences mixed with her own style. It’s not an exaggeration to say that each track is different from the last, which can rarely be said about a release.
The title track is a little hard to get into, it seems bitty and disjointed, although that doesn’t stop her voice from being nice, it just makes me wish that perhaps it could be heard a bit clearer as the music seems to drown it out a little.
Running, however, flows better. It starts off softly but gets stronger the further it goes on and it actually rather catchy. But no matter how good this is, the acoustic version is better. It feels purer as her voice is rawer.
Another highlight is Swan Song, it’s slow and steady and echoes in your mind. The chorus feels particularly powerful and the repetitive beat in the background instantly embeds itself in your mind.
Overall I think this has a very good chance of winning, well they all do since the were nominated, but it’s an album full of good and eclectic music. I would say they would never choose anything drab and dreary, but the fact that The xx won in 2009 quashes that theory.