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Single Review: Jessie Ware – ‘Tough Love’

1 min read

Jessie Ware’s ethereal vocals make a welcome return on Tough Love. The lead single and title track off the British singer-songwriter’s second album (the follow-up to 2012’s Devotion) is graceful, exquisite synth pop.

Jessie Ware Tough LoveThe nervous Little Red Corvette-esque drum machine, steady kick drum and placid yet firm synth throbs give the ballad its human heartbeat. Ware glides like a majestic albatross through the airy, lilting melodies in the verses, as her immaculate, angelic voice lifts the song to devastating, dizzying highs. Her slow descent to Earth in the choruses is coldly executed with the simple muttering of ‘that’s called tough love’, as the synths fade away as if to erase the pain of the past. Even within this stripped back arrangement, listeners can feel Ware’s emotion and poise.

The production from BenZel (consisting of Two Inch Punch and Benny Blanco) takes an otherworldly and dramatic turn in the bridge, as the synths gain an extraterrestrial flavour. The final chorus marks the emotional peak as everything all comes together, before tempered bass drops and slightly spoilt keyboard hooks emphatically close the track.

Tough Love may be a grower, but is astounding in its delicate beauty and should make listeners look forward to Ware’s new sound.