- Naked sincerity in music can be a bit of a minefield: on the one hand you could be praised for your moving candour, on the other, it can leave you open to accusations of mawkishness. On her third LP, Jessie Ware’s taken the gamble regardless, opting to openly discuss her experiences of new motherhood and its emotional impact on her closest relationships, alongside more typical reflections on love. It’s credit to the innate soulfulness of the South Londoner’s voice, and the calibre of material written with Kid Harpoon, Ed Sheeran, Dave Okumu and Julia Michaels, that Glasshouse never feels saccharine. It’s a low key set, for sure, but one that definitely rewards repeated plays.
- Following Zayn’s Mind of Mine and Harry Styles’ self-titled effort, Niall Horan now becomes the third member of One Direction to share his solo debut. It will come as no surprise to anyone who saw his guitar-wielding performances with 1D that Niall’s largely dabbling in Americana and acoustic-rock in the vein of Mumford and Sons and early Ed Sheeran, instead of, say, exploring R&B like Zayn or a love of Lennon and McCartney a la Harry. Also in keeping with Niall’s persona in the group, Flicker is affable, displays a sensitive side and possesses definite cross-generational appeal. Ok, so Flicker probably won’t be topping the Best of 2017 round-ups, but it’ll likely be one of the year’s biggest sellers. Resistance is futile.