sat 10/06/2023

Album: Jessie Ware - That! Feels Good! | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Jessie Ware - That! Feels Good!

Album: Jessie Ware - That! Feels Good!

The Londoner is more accomplished than ever - but at what cost?

Jessie Ware: No time to do anything rubbish

“If you’re going to do it, do it well” goes a chanted refrain in the opening title track here. And it’s words Jessie Ware clearly lives by – she is not someone who has time to do anything rubbish.

From featuring on the cream of post-dubstep electronic dance production circa 2010 (SBTRKT, Joker, Disclosure), through creating a gorgeously brooding Eighties flavoured hinterland on her Mercury Prize nominated debut album Devotion, all the way to creating one of the brightest rays of sunshine during the Covid weirdness of 2020 with a magical video for her Rotary Connection indebted single “Remember Where You Are”, her songwriting, reference points, vocals and presentation have always been 100% on point. 

All of that is on top of presenting a top rated podcast 10 series deep and packed with a-list guests up to and including Paul McCartney and Nigella Lawson, and doing copious charity work including being a UNICEF ambassador. But is it possible to be too good? Here’s the thing: this album is a strong album. It’s disco bangers all the way, referencing all the right things from Azymuth to Earth, Wind & Fire; it’s packed with hooks, grooves and positivity; it’s got the kind of choruses that make for festival singalongs and lasting classic pop radio playlist ubiquity; the musicianship and Ware’s vocals are all faultless. But for perhaps the first time, a spark of inventiveness and an undercurrent of weirdness seem to be missing. 

Perhaps it’s partly that this lavish, high-end disco/house sound is now ubiquitous so there’s a lot of competition. It’s the kind of thing that Dua Lipa does with a bit more modern pop sass, and Róisín Murphy with more depth and derangement. It’s hard to find fault with any given track, and taken alone, the classic house beats and pianos of the single “Free Yourself” and even more so the lavish horn section and huge chorus vocal of “Begin Again” are absolute explosions of joy. But taken all together, things that should hit home hard can zoom past. Like fellow lavish London discoteers Jungle, it can all feel a bit too neat and tidy, and you may find yourself craving a bit of grit, strangeness or even sorrow. Sometimes perfection isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

@joemuggs

Hear "Begin Again":

It’s disco bangers all the way, referencing all the right things from Azymuth to Earth, Wind & Fire

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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