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The 50 Best Albums of 2012

33. Jessie Ware, Devotion

Label: PMR, Island
Released: August 20

With a harmonious mix of breathy vocals, poetic (in the purest sense of the word) lyrics, and '90s-esque R&B grooves, British newcomer Jessie Ware proves to be one of the most promising chanteuses today.

Unlike the music of many other would-be pop stars, the songs on Ware's aptly-titled debut album don't make you feel like you're listening to one cliched, overproduced, potentially mainstream hit after another. Rather, they make you feel as if you've just dusted off one your grandparent's old vinyl records and discovered a sound so refreshingly remarkable.

While the ironically nostalgia-inducing tracks like the nu-soul "Sweet Talk" and "Wildest Moments" make you tempted to peg her as the next Sade, her unique combination of classic songwriting and electronic sound (assisted by her producers Dave Okumu, Julio Bashmore, and Kid Harppon) puts her in a league all her own. -Tara Aquino

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