Jessie Ware: Albums Ranked from Worst to Best

The UK’s most likeable pop star, Jessie Ware is charming whereas other mainstream acts leave me cold. She has a gorgeous voice, but she’s closer to the sophisticated poise of Sade than the vocal histrionics of Celine Dion. Ware’s body of work, dance-pop and blue-eyed soul is tuneful and heartfelt.

I’m making celebratory music that’s meant to be enjoyed. And that’s not that complicated. I’m not that complicated.”

Jessie Ware, The Independent

Ware’s just released her fifth album, That! Feels Good!, which follows 2020’s What’s Your Pleasure onto the dancefloor. She reaches back into the 1970s – the new wave of The B-52s and the psychedelic soul of Rotary Connection are among the influences she’s cited.

How does That! Feels Good! stack up to Ware’s previous records? Read on! For details!

Jessie Ware Albums Ranked

#5 Glasshouse

2017
Ware’s third album had a complicated gestation – she hurried to complete it before the birth of her first child before deciding to rework it. Even the improved version is her least interesting record to date – its low sales caused Ware to consider walking away from the music business. It has its moments – it’s her most intimate, singer-songwriter record with moments like ‘Sam’. ‘Alone’ is a gorgeous single, while Paul Buchanan from The Blue Nile duets on ‘Last of the True Believers’.


#4 Tough Love

2014
Ware’s sophomore album isn’t as energetic or catchy as her debut, but it’s still a classy record of sophisticated pop. It’s stacked with stars, like Ed Sheeran, Miguel, and Dev Hynes. The star power doesn’t always help – Ed Sheeran guests on ‘Say You Love Me’, which is bland compared to the soaring and uplifting chorus of ‘Champagne Kisses’.


#3 Devotion

2012
Ware’s debut album is remarkably assured. It was preceded by hits that balanced sophistication and energy – the pulsating ‘Running’ and the wistful ‘Wildest Moments’ were great introductions to Ware. The record offers plenty more pleasures – the cello-driven ‘Night Light’ and the gorgeous ‘Taking in Water’ are both among her best songs.


#2 That! Feels Good!

2023
Ware used the retro, disco sound of ‘Remember Where You Are’, the final track on What’s Your Pleasure, as a jumping-off point for her next record. It’s just as fun – it’s entertaining to hear Ware get brash on the bridge of ‘These Lips’ – “these lips are wanted in a hundred countries”. She’s blending tuneful poise with energy on impressive singles like ‘Begin Again’ and ‘Free Yourself’. That! Feels Good! is a fine follow-up to a classic.


#1 What’s Your Pleasure?

2020
On her fourth album, Ware embraces dance music – always part of her musical DNA, it’s at the forefront here. With her dining podcast providing an outlet for her personal and political thoughts, her music became more playful. The joy is tangible on songs like ‘Ooh La La’ and ‘What’s Your Pleasure? The crowning moment is the sweeping majesty of ‘Remember Where You Are’, while the extended version highlighted more gems like ‘Please’.

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5 Comments

  1. I didn’t know Jessie Ware and checked out some of the songs you highlighted. She’s definitely a good vocalist. My “challenge” is the music, which generally isn’t so much my cup of tea. I will say “Sam” is a really beautiful song except I would have been okay if the extended instrumental ending would have been cut in half! 🙂

    • Thanks for listening. She does get more retro on the later albums – plenty of 1970s disco and new wave references in there. Which might not be your cup of tea.

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Aphoristic Album Reviews is almost entirely written by one person. It features album reviews and blog posts across a growing spectrum of popular music.

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Graham Fyfe has been writing this website since his late teens. Now in his forties, he's been obsessively listening to albums for years. He works as a web editor and plays the piano.

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