Jessie Ware's New Song Confirms She Is the Sorceress of Horny


If she was born in the 1600s, they’d burn her at the stake for being a witch: Jessie Ware, “Ooh La La” — Jessie Ware has long established herself as a sorceress of the horny, an arcane songstress who’s expansive soundscapes and honey-smooth vocal prowess have enraptured listeners since Devotion. But unlike the sun-soaked Glasshouse, her latest spate of singles—“Spotlight,” “Mirage,” and the above “Ooh La La”—exist in the underbelly of our current collective unrest. Reminiscent of Klymaxx’s “Meeting In the Ladies Room,” or Teena Marie’s “I Need Your Lovin,” and maybe even some Sheena Easton, Ware’s “Ooh La La” oozes with the overzealous horniness that underscored most ’80s dance hits. It’s a product, perhaps, of our increasingly familiar times, both sonically and politically. Anyway, don’t Ware’s staccato vocals make you want to throw your hair back and dance, especially when combined with literal cowbells and that fucking bassline? Besides, I’m a sucker for a stellar middle 8, as were the pop princesses of the ’80s dance charts. “Ooh La La” indeed! —Joan Summers

No: Tana Mongeau, “without you” – This sounds like an early demo shared with a studio at the suggestion of YouTuber Tana Mongeau’s management team. No one expected its release, and yet, here it is. “Without you” is excessively mediocre, but I am impressed by the producer’s ability to make her autotune more subtle than it has been in the past. A casual listener might believe she can belt. That’s talent. —MS

Y: New Kids on the Block feat. Boyz II Men, Big Freedia, Jordin Sparks and Naughty By Nature, “House Party” – Many artists are spending this period of social distancing writing, recording, and releasing songs about keeping your chin up during social distancing. That is an inherently schmaltzy thing to do, and very few have been able to get it right. Turns out, the message needed to be delivered by pop optimists up for the challenge: in this case, New Kids, Boyz II Men, Big Freedia, Jordin Sparks, and Naughty By Nature. Ignoring the lyricism, the song is a jovial, nostalgic R&B-pop tune. With the words, it’s a family-friendly reminder that this too shall pass. Call me crazy, but is there anything boy bands and bounce music can’t save? —MS

Of course: Missy Elliott, “Cool Off” (video) – There’s always so much to say and yet not much further to say about a Missy Elliott video because she delivers something fresh every time. My favorite things about this are the stilts, Teyana Taylor’s cameo, the dancing child, and the fact that other people have done videos in which they pretend to be bronze statues, but there’s nothing like Missy Elliott doing it. Once again, this is the Museum of Cool and she’s the curator. —Clover Hope

Y: P22, “The Manager” – Los Angeles band P22 embody everything I love about gloomy Los Angeles bands past and present: they approach post-punk/hardcore hybridity like performance artists—their snare drum is loud, their malaise is antagonistic. “The Manager” just so happens to be my favorite track on their first EP, Human Snake, but I’d vouch for any of them. —MS

Not for me, bro: The Killers, “Fire In Bone” – All I have to say is that the Talking Heads influence is so strong here that I almost want to ask David Byrne if he had a hand in this shit. I like Talking Heads enough but… eh. The Bruce Springsteen energy in the chorus doesn’t really do it any favors either. I get why someone would like this song, but it really wasn’t hitting for me. I listened to “Andy You’re A Star” and “Midnight Show” from their debut album Hot Fuss afterward and all was right in the world again. —Ashley Reese

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