Amongst the disco revival that occurred in 2020 there's one album that managed to shine more than others, that being Jessie Ware's critically acclaimed record "What's Your Pleasure?", as she presents what's easily the most alluring, vivacious, creative and infectious set of songs in the midst of the genre's revitalization.
It's one of those albums that contain multiple cuts that gave me the impression that I had heard them before even though I hadn't at first, which isn't inherently something bad in this case, that only goes to showcase how brilliantly unforgettable it is, Jessie Ware is permanently stuck in this bubble of mindless excitement throughout this LP, supplying a bulk of tracks that are nothing but hypnotically exhilarating.
It's simply the demonstration of taking the mainstream accessible attempts of 2020 and laying down a much more clever spin on them and only assembling the most successful one out of the recent synth pop movement, Jessie Ware is not merely coming through with a brainlessly fun collection of tracks that are meant to hit the club, she's leaning more towards forcing you to dance in your seat and she only does so by producing a body of work that is instantly irresistible, unifying the best elements of funk, R&B, pop, soul and house and distributing it laced into a spirit that's more adapted to 2020 circumstances, a record that assuredly hits all the right spots in every way you could potentially ask for.
It's no surprise that this was one of the most beloved 2020 albums amongst both critics and fans, it managed to bridge the gap between being cutting edge and accessibly contagious, it's defined as taking instrumentals that are as simultaneously futuristic and dazzling as of Daft Punk's own work, a comparison that is very easily drawn as in the production unit there are lots of inspiration taken from french house and electronic music in particular, and setting on top of them a vocalist that is as seducing, charismatic and energetic as Jessie Ware, the way that she is so comfortably warbling over these never-ending technological sonic palettes is fascinating, it only seems as she was fit to do so ever since her career birth and that the direction that pop music took last year only helped her find her true self in midst of all the chaos.
This is the magnum opus of the pop genre as whole in the last few years at the very least, normally we have records that we enjoy but don't necessarily shine throughout their full duration, and while "What's Your Pleasure?" isn't perfect, one facet in which it consistently excels at is displaying mesmerizingly zesty hooks, to the point I don't think that there is a single one all over its runtime that doesn't thoroughly prosper, there is just something so appealing about the way that Jessie Ware is constantly tip-toeing around the climax of each track, she does not only exhibit repetitions that are extremely remarkable but she also does so in form of structures that don't ever feel formularized, as she aims to incorporate so many separate variations into those that the work ends up coming out as nothing but fresh.
Jessie Ware isn't wasting any time either, it may look like it at first glance as the length of the songs aren't too generous but I have no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of those warrant such durations, as she is providing tracks that are steadily groovy but not in a samey manner, the alterations in most departments keep the album sprightly and her soulful and powerful vocal performances that mostly even shine behind these incredibly animated instrumentals are certainly worth highlighting, as most singers would tend to fall into the background when paired with such fast-paced and engaging production, while, on the other hand, she's even capable of being the center of attention in most cases.
Lastly, something that should not go unnoticed is Jessie Ware's songwriting, she is able to absorb her singer-songwriter roots into this throwback sounding disco extravaganza and take them with her and incorporates an element that is lacking in other releases of the same vein in 2020, it is the kind of disco music that is rather enchanting, as Jessie Ware is singing in this really enticing way, even creating a subset of tunes in the middle part of the project that represent the emotionally driven kind of disco, right before returning to the sound that she started with, adding in some supplementary versatility that the effort was otherwise lacking.
The surroundings of the whole record are perfectly captured in the first track "Spotlight", once those first synthesizers kick in after the introduction you know you're in for a nostalgic party.
Favorite tracks: Spotlight, What's Your Pleasure?, Ooh La La, Soul Control, Save a Kiss, Step Into My Life, Read My Lips, Mirage (Don't Stop), The Kill and Remember Where You Are.
Least favorite tracks: Adore You.