Jessie Ware, ‘Tough Love’


Aidin Vaziri | Jessie Ware is ready to pounce. On her second album, “Tough Love,” the commanding British singer streamlines her sound, trading off-kilter club beats for smooth R&B grooves, and makes a proper bid for all the lovers of sensual soul music Sade has for too long neglected. The songs here feel more straightforward than the ones on Ware’s hypnotic debut, 2012’s “Devotion,” but that’s no bad thing. Ware has grown more comfortable in her skin and voice and the music makes room to accommodate the change, from the breezy funk of “Want Your Feeling” to the lusty come-ons of “Kind of … Sometimes … Maybe.” The title track is an electronic slow jam with verses that find her sighing more than singing. But it’s the song “Cruel,” with its handclap rhythms and swooping strings, that sums up her bold style best: “Do us both a favor, tonight/ If you want to do the real thing, make it right,” she sings. Ware performs Tuesday at the Chapel in San Francisco.