- 28 Apr 23
Euphoric dance queen reemerges with slick, brassy disco-pop.
The years after the release of Jessie Ware's deservedly lauded fourth studio album What's Your Pleasure?, the English singer-songwriter thankfully hasn’t left the dancefloor quite just yet. Further channelling ‘70s disco to the extreme, the full-bodied 10 tracks are brimming with the 38-year-old’s jubilant vocals and thrilling brass sections.
“I’ve put aside years of anxiety, imposter syndrome and all that fretting and feeling like I’m not good enough”, Jessie Ware said in a statement on the LP. “It’s not necessarily bigger or better than the last album, it’s more about turning the volume up and embodying that real, deep, sexy, bloody gorgeous groove”.
Armed with rhythm to burn across the project, Ware was assisted by the likes of Clarence Coffee Jr. (Dua Lipa, Beyoncé) and Stuart Price (Kylie Minogue, Madonna) on exhilarating singles like ‘Pearls’. Produced by well-known collaborator James Ford (Haim, Arctic Monkeys, Haim) and penned alongside Zimbabwean-American writer Shungudzo (Kylie, Little Mix) and Danny Parker (Shawn Mendes), who worked on Ware’s last project, her fifth offering also sees her tap friends and family to assist on backing vocals. Spoken word versions of “that”, “feels” and “good”, from the likes of dance legend Róisín Murphy (recorded from an airport toilet), pop icon Kylie, Irish comedian Aisling Bea and veteran producer Benny Blanco add glimmers of personality.
That! Feels Good! continues down the path of seeking freedom and escapism, often through romance and lust, as ‘Freak Me Now’ demonstrates with pulsing synths, a heavy electronic beat and heavenly harmonies. Strident, booming declarations fuel the addictive ‘Free Yourself’ and soul-driven, jazz-infused ‘Shake the Bottle’. The latter is a playful telltale narrative of former flings. Traipsing towards danger, Jessie asks the listener ‘What is life if not for fun?’ Down-tempo love song ‘Lightning’ brings us on a lush comedown before sultry ‘These Lips’ completes a dazzlingly heated fifth album. Press play and let everything else go.
Listen: ‘Freak Me Now’
Out now via EMI Records/PMI Records
Read more reviews in the new issue of Hot Press.
Check out our April 2023 chat with Jessie Ware here.