Devotion - Jessie Ware

Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Aug 30, 2012
    It's lush, sophisticated pastiche, best epitomized by debut single Running.
  2. Dec 7, 2012
    If this isn't the album of the year, it's at least the art-pop album of the year, or the neo-sophisti-pop album of the year, or--beside Frank Ocean's Channel Orange--the alternative R&B album of the year.
  3. Sep 25, 2012
    Sensual, artful and accessible, it is easily one of the best pop albums of the year.
  4. Sep 14, 2012
    Ware gives her most understated performance on the record, and ironically her most anonymous, but the track's hypnotic, uneasy lurch calls for this delivery.
  5. Aug 22, 2012
    Devotion does something remarkable in making the universal--love, heartbreak, and yes, devotion--feel specific, simply because Jessie Ware doesn't sound like she's lying.
  6. Aug 17, 2012
    There's nothing "next" about Ware: she's here, now, and superb.
  7. Aug 17, 2012
    This debut's sophistication might mean Jessie slinks to the forefront rather than shoving her way to the top, but however long it takes, Devotion marks a new chapter in this future-pop superstar's journey.
  8. Apr 16, 2013
    The new songs on this already-strong collection only elevate the ceiling of Ware’s potential.
  9. Aug 20, 2012
    On Devotion, Ware demonstrates a knack for weaving everything together. And just like in the best-tailored clothes, it's difficult to see the seams.
  10. Aug 17, 2012
    Devotion marries her natural gift with throbbing instrumentation that breathes life into every single turn of phrase or sensitive vocal embellishment.
  11. Dec 4, 2012
    There's a youthful, warm energy emanating from Ware's vocals that enervates Devotion, making it more than a mere exercise in restrained, sophisticated sexiness.
  12. While nearly everything else is still top tier pop music, but the Englishwoman leaves herself some room to grow. For now, Devotion is one the year's most promising debuts.
  13. Sep 7, 2012
    Here, on record, buttressed by her own diaphanous back-up vocals, she's fading deliciously into the background even as she's finally stepping into the spotlight.
  14. 80
    Ware has the pipes to come out on top of a TV singing competition, but it's her control, style, and musical choices that make Devotion so interesting.
  15. Aug 21, 2012
    Adorned with production that's as sympathetic to UK underground dance as it is to modern R&B and classic soul, Devotion is a classy affair that delights in its own refinement yet stays pinned to the earth, a talented singer and songwriter realizing her potential at just the right moment.
  16. 80
    Like all the great British pop records of the past five years, Devotion combines the present and the past to make a record that sounds both contemporary and timeless.
  17. Aug 21, 2012
    ny quibbles are minor here though, for Devotion is a truly impressive debut album from yet another talented British singer.
  18. Aug 20, 2012
    It's the 27-year-old's patience that dominate this sultry debut.[Sep 2012, p.113]
  19. Aug 20, 2012
    For the most part this is a flawless, breathless lap around both pop and "underground" music. 'Devotion' is the sound of modern pop, modern love - and heartbreak.
  20. Aug 20, 2012
    Despite the occasional tendency to soar above when her songs could benefit from some earthiness, in the main Ware's sheer, confident boldness carries the day.
  21. Aug 17, 2012
    Despite the myriad references [Sade, Aaliyah]... it's clear Ware has found a voice of her own on Devotion.
  22. Aug 17, 2012
    Devotion contains just enough variety to make for an enticing listen.
  23. Aug 17, 2012
    The middle section may lean a little too heavily on balladry, but if you're looking for 2012's most sophisticated pop star, you may just have found her.
  24. Aug 16, 2012
    It's honest, heartfelt and warm.
  25. Sep 25, 2012
    She perfects [her] approach on this set of elegant synth ballads, confiding hopes and heartbreaks in tones that command attention without ever chewing the scenery.
  26. Aug 20, 2012
    Just when Devotion looks like it could be losing its way, the most incongruous track of the eleven pulls it out of the bag.
  27. Aug 17, 2012
    It's a strong and accomplished debut, and Jessie Ware has provided the missing link between SBTRKT and Sade. Whether you think that's a good thing is your call.
  28. The more you listen, the less the album reveals; her vocals fall between sultry and sterile, and you wish, to take two of her professed influences, that she was a little less Sade, and a little more Chaka Khan.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 78 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Sep 4, 2012
    One of most interesting albums of the year. The songs are a great combination of pure Jessie Ware's voice and broken rhythmically electronic sounds. Pop of the highest quality. Full Review »
  2. Oct 13, 2012
    Although musically paved in 60's R&B and 80's ambient sound, Jessie Ware's debut album managed to be the most refreshing music that ever came to my ears this year. Her classy voice and dark melodies send shivers down my spine at each song of it. Even though her songwriting is obviously a bit raw and natural, it doesn't weakens the substance of the discussion of love made by her. Stellar debut, stunning career ahead. Full Review »
  3. Sep 1, 2013
    This is not the kind of music I m usually drawn to. I mean keep an open mind and whatever, but this R & B, slick pop, 80s throwback stuff tends to have a very short shelf life. That being said, this is one of the finest, slickest, most beautifully produced and charming records I have heard in ages! Every track is strong, memorable and instantly likeable. Most of them remain so after 60 listens (or so Jesse demonstrates strong, soulful, controlled vocals, just the right amount of honesty and oodles of charisma. When I saw her interviewed I wanted to stalk her and ask her to marry me.
    My one draw back is that on this album she showcases a wide variety of styles, from dancefloor fillers to smooth jazzy numbers to a bit of well timed, sugary pop. That's all well and good, but for e it detracted from the overall theme of the album. Perhaps it would have been too 'samey' had she gone with one genre, but the changes in style do not come fluidly and something gets lost in the process. That being said, 'Devotion' definitely makes me happy. Does anyone have her number?
    Full Review »