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Preview: Jessie Ware 

Noah Bonaparte Pais previews the English singer-songwriter's performance at House of Blues Oct. 21

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English singer/songwriter Jack Penate has released two well-received albums on the XL label, but his greatest contribution to the pop-music canon thus far has been his choice in backup singers. For the cascading duet "My Yvonne," from his 2007 debut Matinee, Penate tabbed a longtime friend with a then-unrecognizable, now-unmistakable voice — Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, who one year later issued her own XL debut, 19. Adele appeared again on Penate's follow-up Everything is New, and from that album's tour cycle emerged a new female foil: Jessie Ware, another sultry Londoner whose delivery cuts Adele's whiskeyed bluster with Sade's wine-stained yearning. As did her predecessor, Ware took the spotlight with her, sexing up records by SBTRKT and Florence and the Machine before issuing 2012's Devotion (PMR), the first album to bear her name. A standout among the crowded field of recent excellent R&B LPs, Devotion made an instant star out of the former supporting player, thanks largely to Ware's commanding performance on three endlessly playable singles, which prop up the album like a tripod: the thorax-lodging power ballad "Wildest Moments," perpetual-emotion "Running" and, best of all, effervescent sampler "If You're Never Gonna Move," whose Big Pun-referencing original title ("110%") and recurring clip ("Carvin' my initials in your forehead") had to be altered after the late rapper's estate filed suit. If Ware needs a new backup singer, she knows whom to ask. Mikky Ekko opens. Tickets $27.50 in advance, $30 day of show. — Noah Bonaparte Pais


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