Album Review: Jessie Ware – Glasshouse

Jessie Ware Glasshouse

Jessie Ware dedicates third album to her daughter and husband
A lot has changed since Jessie Ware dropped her previous album Tough Love just over three years ago. The British singer-songwriter gave birth to a daughter in 2016 and actually wrote and recorded her third album Glasshouse around this period. She dropped the sensual and soulful midtempo belter ‘Midnight’ back in July and kept us in summer vibes with the addictive bossa nova inspired follow up ‘Selfish Love’. This weekend Jessie Ware’s Glasshouse finally dropped!

While both Jessie’s debut Devotion and follow up Tough Love were rooted in electronic music and influences from progressive R&B, she moves towards a more soulful adult contemporary style of music here. Although Glasshouse still very much feels like a Jessie Ware record, this switch does take a few spins to fully appreciate. Sure, Ware was never really known as a queen of the bops, but it has to be said that her new effort is definitely at a slower pace and more ballad heavy. Once we have accepted that fact, it is time to appreciate the beauty of what Jessie sounds like these days.

The first good news is that uptempo Jessie did not completely disappear. ‘Your Domino’ is exactly the lightly produced swinging tune that this album needed. Producer Stint creates the perfect breezy backdrop for Jessie’s heavenly vocals to shine on. It is easily one of the highlights of the record, and not just for the obvious reason of providing a welcome change of pace. While this might be the most swinging moment of the album, her signature style of slick productions and stylish, understated vocals is still very much there. ‘Stay Awake, Wait For Me’ offers the most romantic chorus you can imagine with stunning precision while ‘Alone’ is elevated by her own choir like backing vocals and a spot on dramatic production by Stint and Kid Harpoon.

Julia Michaels co-write ‘Hearts’ is one of the more radiofriendly moments on here with a big belting chorus over an ear catching production that resembles the sound of whips (yes, really!). While ‘Last of the True Believers’, a collaboration with The Blue Nile’s Paul Buchanan, underlines her elegance as an artist once more, it is probably ‘Sam’ that leaves the lasting impression. The album closer, co-written by Ed Sheeran, sees Jessie Ware explore a fully acoustic sound. The song named after her husband, is not only an ode to him, but also some very honest and personal words to her mother and daughter.

As ‘Sam’ proves, Jessie Ware worked with a whole lot of co-writers and producers on Glasshouse, but still managed to make it her story and sound. Jessie Ware is a young mother and evolving artist, sharing her vision of love on a still stylish, but more mature record.

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