Jessie Ware’s hauntingly beautiful voice takes centre stage for her third studio album. Glasshouse is a broad mesh of emotions and life experiences, yet the sound of each song blends seamlessly into the next. This creates an album that is easily listened to, but also captivating enough to grip the listener until its very end.
Ware has garnered some criticism in the past for taking the safe route instead of risks that could pay off spectacularly, and for failing to utilise her soulful voice to its full potential. With this latest effort, Ware silences those critics. She has kept her signature style, but this album is a step up. It is more mature, both in sound and subject matter.
Ware’s daughter was born in 2016, and she is mentioned, along with Ware’s husband, on the album’s final song, ‘Sam,’ named after the latter. Co-written with Ed Sheeran, this track describes Ware’s feelings of both delight and anxiety about finally settling down and starting a family. This contrasts with other songs such as ‘Slow Me Down,’ which documents a relationship full of failings, but in which she allows herself to get swept up anyway.
It would be easy to call Glasshouse a transition between Ware’s youth and her life as a mother. However, it’s more of seamless marriage, respecting and intertwining both aspects of her life. This balance yields excellent results.
In a nutshell: Glasshouse’s grace, heartfelt lyrics and style define this offering as Ware’s best yet