CURRENT: Jessie Ware – “Say You Love Me”

While Jessie Ware’s music has always tip-toed the line of Top 40, it’s never gone over the line so emphatically as it does on the recently released “Say You Love Me”. Co-written by Ed Sheeran (“Sing”, “The A Team”), the song’s pop music credentials speak for themselves. I mean, the guy is good enough to have gotten a Taylor Swift co-sign. So, so what if the opening is a bit of a lyrical clunker (“Say you love me / to my face”), Ware’s music has always succeeded due to her tantalizing vocals and refined, unobtrusive productions. After “Tough Love” saw Ware utilizing her falsetto for the first noticeable time to incredible results, “Love Me” is another masterclass in vocal performance. Growing from a faint spark, the song swells till it reaches an organic, cathartic climax, full with a backing choir and an acoustic guitar-stomp breakdown. It’s quite unlike anything Ware has put to her name thus far, and the singer is enlivened by the new terrain. Judging by the list of collaborators for her new album, “Say You Love Me” is likely to be an anomaly among the other album tracks, but it shows an exciting amount of growth for an artist who seems to be just fine, no matter the direction her music goes.

Tough Love arrives 21 October in the U.S., while it’s out in the UK a couple weeks earlier (6 October), though PMR/Island.

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