Random Access Memories
Did anyone predict the trip hop revival?
What goes around comes around, of course, but there's an uncommon swell right now of artists exhuming the jazzy beats and smoky ambience of mid 90s mood music, from Kimbra to Delilah – and now Jessie Ware.
The South London-born Ware uses that downbeat funk to conjure something truly special though, and possesses a voice to truly lose yourself in. She sneaks out of a dance background, fresh from hip collaborations with SBTRKT and Sampha, and weaves that creative impulse through a series of strong, cool songs that have the range to satisfy any audience.
The real corkers are 110%, with its speedy doo wop and electro jiggle, and Wildest Moments, where Ware comes closest to a real pop anthem while somehow echoing Paul Young's Love Of The Common People – but smooth soul also oozes through Sweet Talk and the sparse throb of Still Love Me.
If there's a shortcoming it's in Ware's sporadic tendency to opt for the groovy workout over the blissful melody, but that's a small price to pay for a confident opening salvo. Devotion is a terrific debut then, and – with any luck – an early triumph for an artist who's set to stick around.