2020 has absolutely been a good year for music! I’ve listened to and ranked 120 albums so far, and Jessie Ware is still my top of both lists the albums and the songs one. Her iconic photograph on the cover takes us to the glam period of Studio 54. The way she stares at the cam, almost like posing for a Warhol’s polaroid or an Antonio Lopez’s illustration, gives you clues about her music. The enigmatic power of her direct look is stunning! The red lipstick, the big hair, and the golden collar complete the representative portrait. It also gives you a whole picture of the sound and personality you can find in What’s Your Pleasure?. This title evokes hedonism, ecstasy, and joy.
The elegance and minimalist electronic beats of “Spotlight” make this song my fave of the album. What an opening track! Her voice and the second voices are on point. It reminds me of the Madonna of The First Album, with a natural sparkle and shinning on the dancefloor.
Let’s go through the album. Play the record for me! What’s your pleasure? is a gay anthem, sort of Kylie Minogue rendition to the disco. Ohh La La is the definition of what a pop song is, easy and catchy. Like my friend Fran Plasencia, the conceptual photographer, says “pop music has its own language, and this code is simple and direct”. Soul Control keeps on with the synthesizer’s fantasy, the second voices in the album are a constant, let’s get to the chorus like Roxette’s maxim. Save a Kiss is also influenced by Madonna’s Confessions on a dancefloor and Kylie’s Fever, however, there is the clearest impact in this song and that’s the Swedish Robyn, this song could match Body Talk. Those beats and the orchestral hints! Wow! Adore you takes us to a more alternative and atmospheric song, like Halsey or Georgia. Jessie sounds so sensual! In your eyes keeps the sensuality higher, boiling like Janet Jackson’s music. We can’t deny Jessie’s good taste. Step into my life sounds like Motown and disco, a bit like Michael Jackson singing with his brothers. Read my lips sounds also quite like Jackson, both campy and tacky in the best sense, like Gina G! Mirage (Don’t stop) gets good in the phrasing and the ambient sound, quite Kylie (again), and that ending is Off the wall! Don’t stop till you get enough! The Kill tenses and slows down the pace, the voice brings the beauty and the retro vibes. Remember where you are is openly retro, she becomes the musical diva. Taking the masks off, all the secrets are revealed in this song! Her intentions are not hidden anymore. A clever statement to end the album.
Jessie reminds me of all the big ones that I love.
Thanks for sharing this music in 2020! We needed this and you know it!
Enjoy her Spotlight!