Album Review: What’s Your Pleasure? // Jessie Ware

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Imagine yourself being led into a smoky retro basement bar, decorated with velvet sofas as red as the wine you’re sipping. Jessie Ware’s new record What’s Your Pleasure? starts playing and all of a sudden you’ve been swept onto the dancefloor.

On her fourth studio album, Jessie Ware has fully embraced disco-pop, smothered it in glitter, and revved it up five notches. With What’s Your Pleasure?, the multi BRIT-nominated singer is making one thing clear: she wants to dance with someone hot, right now.

The opener ‘Spotlight’ sets a welcome and enticing tone for the rest of the album. Released in February as the third single, the nu-disco track does more than a good job in delving into feelings of lust and longing for a magical lover. The title track is a gushing and floaty synth-pop jam with Jessie’s sultry whispers punctuating it.

By the time the fifth track ‘Save a Kiss’ kicks off, Jessie’s already knocked the ball out of the park. This is an astonishing dance record that will leave you lusting after a lover (or three), thrusting your hips, and begging for more.

On ‘Soul Control’, Ware demands her lover for the night to “get closer” and “crash into” her. The pulsating synths and squiggly electric guitar outro add to the ferocious heat of the track. It’s here where things start getting serious and it becomes clear this isn’t just a two second fling, as she sings, “I see the future, it’s me and you.”

The seventh track, ‘In Your Eyes’, is a future-facing summer jam – heavy with the synths and strings, light on any lyrical overkill. Meanwhile, the jazzy ‘Read My Lips’ perhaps encapsulates the mood of the album most succinctly: all Jessie wants you to do is read the room and make your damn move!

Then ‘The Kill’ comes on and you’re speeding down an empty highway, blasting past a glittering city night-scape, windows down, sunglasses suspiciously on. The track’s heavy and dark strings hypnotise and insist on your unwavering attention. Its lyrics speak of a dangerous, consuming romantic affair, with Jessie asking “don’t kill me with your love.”

The best song on the record comes last, in the shape of the anthemic soul banger, ‘Remember Where You Are’. By now, it’s 7 am and the party’s long since moved from the basement bar to a rooftop afterparty. The sun is gloriously revealing last night’s happy and well made mistakes. As Jessie implores her lover to “take me home”, there’s a hint of misty eyed bittersweet-ness about the whole thing.

What’s Your Pleasure? is a straight up dance record that sweeps you up, seduces you, and glues your feet to the dancefloor. After a slight misstep on her last record, Glasshouse, The Ware is back and she’s delivered probably the best collection of disco-pop in years.

9/10

Words by Marco Marcelline


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