Friday, August 18th, 2017

Jessie Ware – Midnight

We again sample Jessie’s wares.


Anjy Ou: I don’t know what it is about Jessie Ware that hits me right at the core of my being, but since I first listened to “Running” I felt exposed, like she was singing about the stuff I was scared to even hint to anyone else, let alone an object of affection. It’s scary to love somebody, to make space for them before they’ve even agreed to fill it. And even when they have, the uncertainty can linger; you can’t help but wonder, “Is it all going to fall away?” Even after the first confession, you need to continue to be brave about speaking your heart. Jessie Ware knows this, so instead of pulling back from the mic when hitting the big notes like she used to, she leans in, allowing you to hear — and feel — everything, instead of tempering it for fear of what the response might be. She’s still a bit uncomfortable with it: the verses start out soft and echo-ey, her voice almost suspended in electronic water. But then the chorus hits and she’s going for it, even as she tempers everything she says: maybe I love you, maybe I want to, maybe I need you. Instead frantically swimming to shore, she’s swimming through this new experience of love, allowing herself to be open and vulnerable. This song seems to tell us that yes, it’s scary, but there’s something wonderful and beautiful about the whole thing. I may not have had the experiences that she has – getting married, having a child — but she’s convinced me here that it might be worth taking the dive.

Katie Gill: Belting and faux-soul styles can only take you so far, especially if the song itself is mediocre to begin with. That chorus sounds like it was plastered on the song because… shit… we forgot to put a chorus on this thing. Overall, it’s incredibly disjointed and incredibly out of whack.

Alfred Soto: “Midnight” sounds terrific on first and second listen: Jessie Ware is one of the few vocalists whose upper register doesn’t exhaust my patience. But the chord and tempo change in the chorus — a gallop as unconvincing as a man in a pony outfit, with a stop at “Bennie and the Jets” — unfurls like a Pro Tools salvage job, a marooned sequence pilfered from someone else’s plate. It cheapens Ware’s shows of feeling into mere affect.

Nortey Dowuona: The bass plods, the drums limp, the synths whimper and tremble, and Jessie Ware’s powerful voice sits on this wicker foundation, almost immediately falling as it collapses.

Scott Mildenhall: They can sing “Say You Love Me” on TV talent shows all they like, it’s sadly not going to make Jessie Ware a star any more than she already is. If that means she can swerve Ed Sheeran’s songwriting in favour of extended vamping, then all the better. With sounds all wonky around her vocal precision, yearning without inhibition, this is what “Night Light” and “110%” seemed to be leading to.

Anaïs Escobar Mathers: This starts out sounding almost like chamber pop and then that smooth beat drops in and I won’t lie, I was taken aback on first listen. This is a sexy song and Ware really basks in it, showing off her vocal range and sounding dare I say like Donna Summer at points. Which is an excellent thing in my book. As they say, it’s a hot one.

Hazel Robinson: Traditionally I only like Jessie Ware’s music when it’s had a beach house remix dropped onto its classy coffee table like a ton of ravemotion bricks. But there are first times for everything and even if I will like this massively more when Offaiah has rubbed up against it in an Ibiza toilet for fifteen minutes, this is pretty solid. Even if the surface has been polished so much the emotion slides off it completely.

Katherine St Asaph: I could bathe in the opening chord progression and its nocturnal portent forever, or at least until the beat’s tossed in like a live appliance into a lake. Upon further thought, I wouldn’t mind that either.

Reader average: [9] (2 votes)

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2 Responses to “Jessie Ware – Midnight”

  1. Amazing blurb Anjy!

  2. Thanks Connor!!

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