It didn’t take me long to declare that Jessie Ware’s What’s Your Pleasure? is one of the best album drops of the year. It took me 37 seconds into the first track, “Spotlight,” to come to this conclusion.
“Spotlight” is quite the perfect lure to Jessie’s sound. They did release it early this year as a single for a reason. She shows off her powerful vocals that give us goosebumps when we listen to “Wildest Moments” and “You and I (Forever)” from her previous albums. By the 37th second, she tightens her hold over you with that dance beat. From here, Jessie never let us go for the next 11 songs.
What’s Your Pleasure? combines Jessie’s voice with ’70s disco and ’80s music. In interviews with Vogue and Stereogum, Jessie expressed these influences were in line with her intention for the album. “I went into the studio to make a record that made people want to dance, flirt, and have sex,” she said to Stereogum.
Pitchfork envisions Jessie as the party hostess worthy of the Manhattan scene in the days of Diana Ross in this album. I could quickly agree with this. The very first beats in the title track, the second song in the album, got me dancing while I was tidying up. My vacuum cleaner automatically became my dance partner.
“Oh La La” carries a base that seems to me is inspired by Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and even “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen. You’ll love it, and you’re going to sing along immediately. “Save A Kiss” will transport you to the best parties you haven’t been to yet.
If there’s one thing wrong about this album, it’s that it will make you miss the unique physical connection you get when dancing with strangers in the club. The Guardian is right in saying that this album is “lustful disco.” The feeling is highlighted by seductive lyrics like the ones found in “Step into My Life”: Yougot my attention/No complications/I just wanna get to know ya/ I don’t wanna talk/No conversation/I’m tired of wanting more/More of your love.
As with any good dance album, there’s a bit of a break. “Adore You,” “In Your Eyes,” and “Remember Where You Are” allow you to sway when you’re tired of busting a move. These are the songs you need for emphatic lipsynching.
What’s Your Pleasure? is a coherent album, telling the story of a good night out. This is a gift from Jessie Ware that we needed badly as we all stay in.