The trend for down-tempo R&B has reached the stage where artists are in danger of no longer having any edge whatsoever. Jessie Ware is hotly-tipped, but ‘Devotion’ is effectively a cross between bass-heavy dance and sleek music to be played in upmarket wine bars. When this unlikely pairing works – see the stylish ‘Running’ or the breezy ‘110%’ – it’s a thing of wonder, but occasionally it can come across as supermarket soul for a post-Adele world. Yet it’s a strong and accomplished debut, and Jessie Ware has provided the missing link between SBTRKT and Sade. Whether you think that’s a good thing is your call.
Words by Joe Rivers