After three albums of sleek pop and the occasional Mariah Carey-style belter, Jessie Ware is ready for something new. Primarily produced by Simian Mobile Disco’s James Ford, What’s Your Pleasure? draws on classic disco and EDM, reinventing Ware as a daring dance music chanteuse. On opening track Spotlight, the bassline rumbles, the strings swoon and, like the best disco tunes, a sense of hedonism glimmers. Ware nails the sense of dance as a form of human connection, admitting “words can never do”.
Adore You features those breathy vocals you’ve loved since 2012’s Strangest Feeling. But Ware’s strengths aren’t always fully displayed. The corny and generic Save a Kiss feels like the kind of song a teen idol trying to make more mature music might produce. And though it’s been out a while, it’s disappointing not to see her 90s club throwback single Overtime on the tracklist – a cut that would have improved the album’s batting average.
It’s the final leg where What’s Your Pleasure? takes off. The Kill slickly matches 80s-style tech noir synth with sumptuous strings. Closer Remember Where You Are is one of Ware’s greatest songs, a glittering piece of anthemic soul that evokes strong memories of Minnie Riperton’s Les Fleurs. Her control of different styles may be untidy at times but in the end, Ware wows you enough to render her stylistic change-up a success.