Glasshouse

After the birth of her baby, English singer and songwriter Jessie Ware released her third studio album. Complete with 17 emotional and soulful tracks, “Glasshouse” brings a new front to Ware’s expanding music genre. 


This album is, like its name, very polished and clean-cut. “Glasshouse” includes Ware’s usual slow, sophisticated and generally mellow lyrical style.


Ware opens this album with “Midnight,” where she shows off her impressive vocal range and skill. The hauntingly beautiful piano transitions from quiet, single notes to confident chords with percussion, which show her soulful emotions. This track’s slow disco and electronic style subtly offsets the 80’s-era feel. The falsetto throughout the song accents the chorus and gives “Midnight” a soulful and elegant sound. 


As one of my personal favorites, “Thinking About You” is a mellow track on the more modern side of this album. This track has a chorus with a background choir and clean vocals, similar to Sam Smith’s style. 
“Stay Awake, Wait for Me” is a sultry slow jazz track that shows a different side of Ware. Accompanied by a slow electric piano and saxophone solo, Ware’s powerful voice produces a magical atmosphere that is hard to pull off. 


One of her three early-released tracks and my least favorite, “Selfish Love,” is different from the typical Ware sound with its Latin-influenced beat and style. This track lacks the punch and peak in the chorus that I was expecting because the chorus does not bring the flow back up after the beat drop and bridge. 


Some of the faster-paced songs on the album are “Your Domino” and “Selfish Love,” although “Your Domino” is a closer match to Ware’s style on past albums like “Tough Love.” The unique and mesmerizing beat gives “Your Domino” more of a pop feel than “Selfish Love,” though the lyrical style is slightly different, the subtle electronica and upbeat rhythm still achieves the nighttime magic ambience. 


Another favorite, “Alone,” is an emotive romantic ballad led by Ware’s strong vocals. This song, released about a month earlier than the rest of the album, displays her strong presence. Similar to her first album, “Devotion,” the song “Alone” includes the classic Jessie Ware style of longing lyrics and soulful influence. Her extensive vocal range overpowers the musical melody of the song, but achieves a good balance. 


Another similar track is “First Time,” a track with a steady bass drum beat. The sophisticated structure and lyrics about her personal life give an intimacy and aura that very few artists can attain. The alternative R&B style adds to the throwback to Ware’s first album.


Ware continues with the steady drum in “First Time” in the final track of the album, “Love to Love.” The music, accented by finger snaps and a synth backdrop, makes this song feel more modern and radio-worthy than the rest of the album.


In the deluxe version of “Glasshouse,” Ware has acoustic versions of a few songs and includes the official audio for “Til the End,” a track from the movie “Me Before You.”


Overall, Ware presents listeners with a balanced style of music with the classic lyrical complexity. “Glasshouse” has more focus and consistency in style compared to her second studio album and Ware stays with her refined, soulful, polished and neat style. Some might think is too refined, but I like it. 
 

4/5 stars.

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