Tough Love

Jessie Ware - Tough Love
Critic Score
Based on 31 reviews
2014 Ratings: #354 / 965
Year End Rank: #28
User Score
Based on 189 ratings
2014 Ratings: #131
Liked by 3 people
October 13, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
PMR / Island / Label
R&B, Pop Soul / Genres
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The Line of Best Fit

Tough Love may hang its weight on an intimacy that was missing in parts from her debut, but it’s actually the elements around her vocals and lyrics that delivers the album’s biggest punch.


For the most part, it is an assured collection of songs that exudes the confidence of an artist at the peak of her powers.

Drowned in Sound

It’s to Ware’s credit, then, that she’s tried to build upon Devotion in creative fashion with this second LP; most striking is the way in which she tries to bring the subtle sensuality of that last album to the fore as much as possible this time. 


It’s this confidence that really shines throughout the album. Ware’s vocals are at the forefront, no longer hidden amongst a cloud of heavy electronics. 

The 405

Captivating and deeply personal at times, but not overbearingly so, Tough Love is sure to be a chart success and yet another album to add to the pile of superb female-led pop records to come out this year.


'Tough Love' has its eyes locked on Adele's crown, with the Ed Sheeran-penned 'Say You Love Me' a slightly too obvious stab at the big time. Elsewhere, however, 'Tough Love' excels.

FACT Magazine

It’s functional, designed to break her into the mainstream proper. And it’s also not very good. It’s a record that masks its lack of content under swathes of super-hip production tics.

(Standard Version) "Tough Love" feels like a natural progression of Jessie's sound. While it doesn't completely overhaul the style she introduced with her debut album, it still feels different in a lot of ways. Most of the songs are slower and feature smoother production. She explores the topics of love, heartbreak and desire with quality songwriting. It all comes together as an emotional and engaging album.

Favorites: You & I (Forever), Say You Love Me, Want Your Feeling, Desire
The singer/songwriter Jessie Ware comes back with an upgraded work that displays soothing vocals and smooth instrumentals. The performances are pretty consistent, even though there are some forgettable cuts around. Also, the tracklisting stretches the experience out too much. There are some really charming, catchy tunes, even so.
I registered in order to make the case for "Tough Love," which has surfaced as one of the most critically snubbed- not even panned- albums of the year thus far.

I don't review this in order to recount which tracks were my favorites, although to share my bias most of them are. I do put my opinion out to confront the most pervasive critique of "Tough Love," which is that Ware takes the carrot and goes mainstream, which many imagine somehow renders her a mediocre ... read more
The melodies and the narrative of the songs are beautiful. Jessie knows very well how to capture her attention and tell you a story throughout this journey that was Tough Love.

Best tracks: Tough Love // Cruel // Say You Love Me // Kind Of...Sometimes...Maybe// Pieces // The Way We Were
Worst Song: Keep On Lying
Well-crafted and unique, if the only knock is that it's slightly forgettable.
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Track List

  1. Tough Love
  2. You & I (Forever)
  3. Cruel
  4. Say You Love Me
  5. Sweetest Song
  6. Kind of…Sometimes…Maybe
  7. Want Your Feeling
  8. Pieces
  9. Keep on Lying
  10. Champagne Kisses
  11. Desire
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Added on: August 4, 2014