TIME Music

Review: On Jessie Ware’s Tough Love, Sadness Sounds Sweeter

Interscope Records

The singer weaves lush melodies out of frustration and taps further still into her soulful side on an impressive follow-up

Jessie Ware can breathe easy: she crooned her way right past the dreaded sophomore slump. The soulful UK songstress quickly and quietly struck gold with her 2012 debut Devotion, a genre-blurring set of delicate electronica (“110%”), soul (“Wildest Moments”) and quiet storm (“Night Light”) best served in the evening hours with a bottle of red. The album landed near-universal critical acclaim, including a prestigious Mercury Award nomination, as well as frequent comparisons to everyone from Adele to Sade.

After two years of touring, collaborations and a marriage, the singer returns this month with her follow-up Tough Love, a collection that is, surprisingly, born largely from broken hearts and hurt feelings. “I’m in a really happy stage of my life, but it doesn’t mean I can’t write about things that affect me or that I relate to from the past,” she said of the unexpected juxtaposition in a profile for The Guardian.

It’s not a bad tack: time and time again, Ware turns sadness into healing sound, from the album’s lush title track “Tough Love” to the Dev Hynes-assisted “Want Your Feeling.” While the lyrics of the latter track might leave Jessie aching all alone, the disco-inflected chorus — which might as well come from the Earth, Wind & Fire catalogue — suggests otherwise.

Tough Love also comprises even more talented hands than her debut — familiar ones, at that: While Jessie’s first outing was produced entirely by Dave Okumu (The Invisible), Kid Harpoon and Julio Bashmore, Jessie’s second serving is helmed by BenZel, the partnership of one of the pop industry’s most reliable beat-crafters, Benny Blanco (Britney Spears, Ke$ha), and rising London producer Two Inch Punch (Sam Smith). As a result, the record finds its footing somewhere in between the left-leaning British electronica scene and a more polished Top 40 pop sound.

Of all the new songwriting collaborators, “Adorn” crooner Miguel is perhaps the most seamless fit; his own R&B fusion is a natural complement to Ware’s own. He assists on “Kind Of…Sometimes…Maybe,” an electronic daydream that sways back and forth as Jessie grapples with the idea of getting back together with a former flame: “Do I want you at all? / OK, just a bit, I hate to admit,” she sings. She lays herself barer on “Say You Love Me,” a soulful, guitar-led slow jam written alongside Ed Sheeran. On “Pieces,” recorded alongside Lana Del Rey producer, Emile Haynie, the track plays like a thunderous Bond theme, high-drama and colored by swells of cinematic strings.

But the meatier production isn’t even the biggest change on the album: It’s the singer herself, whose increased confidence comes through in her more assured vocal delivery. There’s even a hint of a more mainstream pop superstar in waiting, as with the single-ready “You & I (Forever),” armed with a M83-like ’80’s electronic pulse that begs for radio. Strong, too, are the fluttery falsetto chorus of “Champagne Kisses” and “Cruel,” a slick, string-filled anthem equipped with one of her strongest hooks to date.

Tough Love is rich, romantic, and thoughtfully crafted, both more ambitious and more intimate than its predecessor. And, in a year of powerhouse pop divas loudly wailing, bang-banging and breaking free on top of the charts, the subdued LP is a much-needed reminder that a little restraint can sound just as sweet.

TIME Video Games

50 Things Nintendo Wants You to Know About Super Smash Bros. Wii U

Nintendo just rolled out a special Nintendo Direct that walks through 50 of the game's new features, including an eight-player offline Smash mode.

Some of us, myself included, were worried Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. for Wii U wouldn’t make 2014. But then Nintendo ska-kawed our disquiet at the not-quite eleventh hour, announcing a few weeks ago that, yes, the game would arrive this year: November 21, in case you missed it.

Now the company’s released a 35-minute primer on the game that’s basically a feature pitch video. It’s (almost) nothing Smash aficionados don’t already know, but everything that’s new gets nicely compiled into a single straight-through look.

It’s also a helpful thing to watch if (a) you haven’t yet bought the 3DS version and so have no idea what’s different from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, (b) you’re a fighting-game fan who’s never played a Super Smash Bros. game but you’re Smash-curious, or (c) you want to see what the corybantic madness of eight-player offline Smash – a series first — looks like.

And with that, I suppose I’d better finish watching it, since I’m going to be playing the Wii U game tonight at a Nintendo event in Detroit.

TIME celebrities

Elisabeth Moss: My Cats Have Their Own IMDB Pages

The Listen Up Philip actress discusses Mad Men, breaking up, and getting career advice from Bryan Cranston

Elisabeth Moss stars in two films this year that grapple with rocky romantic relationships, each reaching a different conclusion about when it might be right to call it quits. The One I Love, released earlier this year, was a romantic comedy with a strange and unexpected sci-fi twist, but her new movie Listen Up Philip is deeply rooted in reality. In the film, Moss plays a photographer named Ashley who is tumultuously ending things with her writer boyfriend Philip (Jason Schwartzman).

For Moss, the roles weren’t necessarily connected, but there’s certainky a correlation between them. The actress, who wrapped the final season of Mad Men earlier this year and is currently shooting a new movie in Australia, has some experience with rocky breakups — she once referred to her short-lived marriage with comedian Fred Armisen as “traumatic.” Fortunately, Moss found some new companions on the set of Listen Up Philip and they don’t seem like the type to cause a fight. (They’re cats. Famous cats.)

TIME spoke with the actress about relationships, kittens and Bryan Cranston.

TIME: You two most recent films are about relationships. Was that a conscious choice on your part?

Elisabeth Moss: No, not at all. I don’t really make those kinds of choices. I just base things on what is a good script. It was totally circumstantial. And they were obviously very separate – they were months apart – and it was just a coincidence. I liked that they were so similar in the sense that they are about relationships, but that they have these different take on them and different endings. The female characters make very different choices in both movies. I thought that was interesting.

What interested you in Listen Up Philip specifically?

I just loved the script. Sometimes you do things based on character, sometimes you do it based on the overall script. This was a bit of both, but I loved the story and I wanted to be a part of it. I like the idea of telling a real story. So often I do things that are different than me and a stretch, or something that’s very foreign to my life and my experience. I thought this was interesting for me to do because it’s actually a real story that might have been true, that I might have experienced. Not necessarily being with such an asshole – but going through a breakup in your twenties in the summer in New York. That’s a very real thing because I’ve lived in New York for years now.

So are you channeling your own experiences with breakups?

I mean, in every role you channel the experiences that you’ve had. Even with something like Mad Men, you’ve been out of your element or you’ve been intimated or you’ve tried to do something that was scary for you. In everything you’re channeling experiences you’ve had. For me this was so much about the telling of the story of the breakup in New York, which is a very specific thing. The summer in the city is so great and so alive and there’s the heat and people and hanging outside and sitting in the park. That’s a very specific experience.

Do you think the film takes a stance on whether two artists can successfully be together?

That would be more of a question for [the director]. But I think people totally can. I don’t like the idea that two artists can’t exist in a relationship. I have seen so many great relationships that have two artists. The key is having respect for the other person’s art as well and there not being a competitive element to it. There being a sense of dependence in your partner’s art and there being a mutual respect for one another. But that’s true in any relationship. For me this movie was all about the relationship and [my character] finding her feet again. Her making the brave choice to develop her life again without Philip and recognizing that this person isn’t making her happy. It’s a hard decision to make.

You’ve been through a hard breakup publicly. Do you have any advice on how to move on with your life after that?

I don’t know that I have any good advice for anyone! People know what to do. I’m not a relationship guru or anything like that.

Speaking of relationships, is it true you adopted two kittens from the set of Listen Up Philip?

Yeah, I did. I took them home. We wanted this kitten for this one scene and our producer happened to find them on the street. She already had three cats, so I was like, “Well, I’ll take them and look after them, and I’ll either keep them or find a home for them.” And of course I ended up falling in love with them. It was a stupid thing to think I was going to take them home and not keep them.

There’s no way you weren’t going to keep those cats.

I know. I think I knew that, too. I just had to do it slowly and gradually. I had to trick myself into taking them.

Basically the only thing the press is saying about you right now is that you adopted these kittens.

I’m so thrilled. Every time someone writes about it, me and my mom and my brother, we send them to each other. I send the write ups to my publicist. We talk about popular the cats are and how difficult they’re going to be to deal with now that they’re so famous. You know they have IMDB pages?

They do?

I swear to God. They have individual IMDB pages. It’s hilarious. I’m very obsessed with them.

So do you actually pay attention to what’s being written about you in the press?

No. I get sent stuff, like official stuff. For instance, this article will be sent to me. Sometimes I read them and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I read them if I’m like, “Oh, what was that?” They always pick a headline that was one tiny thing that you said. And then that’s the headline, and the story is about something else. Sometimes if I see an interesting headline I’m like, “What did I say?” It’s one of those things where I tend to not read them because it’s hard for me. Hearing yourself talk about things is weird.

Do you feel like there are any misconceptions about you out there?

I don’t know. I know this is going to sound really Pollyanna, but I feel really fortunate. I feel that so far the work that I’ve done has been respected and liked. That’s all I really care about. For me, as long as people are liking the acting that I do, which is why I do this, that is the only thing that matters. People have been pretty nice.

Has your experience on Mad Men been limiting in any way as an actress?

It’s been nothing but great. It’s done nothing but open me up to new possibilities. People would kill to be on a show that good, and have a role like that. It’s given me so many opportunities throughout the years. It gave me my first Broadway play. I don’t know if I would have been considered for that if I didn’t have Mad Men. It’s opened so many doors for me. And it’s one those things where, if that’s all I did for seven seasons, that would have been great too. That’s more than a lot of people get. The great thing about television these days is it’s not a limiting thing anymore. We used to joke in the early days when it was more limited – now there’s so many great shows – that people would do television and then go to do something artistic during their hiatus. On Mad Men, we felt that this was the artistic thing we were doing. You don’t have to go outside and search for something else.

Was there a certain moment when you realized you were famous and there was no going back from that?

It’s been so gradual over the years, honestly. I still get surprised when I walk around and people recognize me. There wasn’t really any specific moment. The only thing I’ve noticed is that after every Mad Men season going back to New York, which is a place where you’re much more amongst the people and you’re more accessible, my visibility seemed to be a little higher every time. That was my gauge over the years.

Has any TV actors given you a good piece of advice on how to let go of playing Peggy for so long?

Actually, I went to see Bryan Cranston in his play that he won the Tony for last year. It was before we started filming season seven. I went backstage and spoke to him and he talked about how great it was to go through theater after leaving Breaking Bad. He said just challenge yourself and expand yourself as an actor. Do something completely different in a completely different medium. He said that was so helpful to him as an actor and it put that thought in my head. It’s part of the reason why I’m going and doing The Heidi Chronicles on Broadway next year. It’s because of speaking to him and seeing that was a great thing for him to do.

That’s a pretty good person to get advice from.

Yeah, it’s not bad. Basically I would do anything Bryan Cranston does.

TIME Books

J.K. Rowling Will Publish a New Story on Halloween

J.K. Rowling at a charity event at Warner Bros Studios in London in 2013.
J.K. Rowling at a charity event at Warner Bros Studios in London in 2013. Danny E. Martindale--Getty Images

The 'Harry Potter' author has written a new story about Dolores Umbridge, a witch and former Hogwarts professor

Author J.K. Rowling’s website Pottermore.com has announced that the Harry Potter creator has penned a brand new story, which will go live on the site on Oct. 31.

The story will feature Dolores Umbridge, a witch and former Hogwarts professor, who first appeared in the fifth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which was published in 2003. Umbridge was played by actor Imelda Staunton in the film adaptation of the series.

“Umbridge is not only one of the most malicious Potter characters, she is the only person other than Lord Voldemort to leave a permanent physical scar on Harry,” reads the update posted to Pottermore.com on Friday. “The new exclusive J.K. Rowling content provides a rich, 1,700-word back story about Umbridge’s life filled with many new details, as well as Rowling’s revealing first-person thoughts and reflections about the character.”

Earlier this year, Rowling published a story on Pottermore.com featuring a now-grown Harry Potter.

TIME movies

‘Welcome to the Dollhouse’ Is Getting a Sequel, of Sorts

Director Todd Solondz attends the Film Society Of Lincoln Center 2014 Filmmaker In Residence Dinner at Indochine on June 24, 2014 in New York.
Director Todd Solondz attends the Film Society Of Lincoln Center 2014 Filmmaker In Residence Dinner at Indochine on June 24, 2014 in New York. Brad Barket—Getty Images

Director Todd Solondz is making a movie that revisits Dawn Wiener nearly 20 years after his first film was released

Welcome to the Dollhouse has been an indie film favorite since its 1995 release. Telling the story about the unpopular seventh-grader Dawn Wiener, played by Heather Matarazzo, the movie garnered critical raves and launched the career of director Todd Solondz.

Now, nearly 20 years later, Solondz is planning on revisiting her in an upcoming ensemble film called Wiener-Dog. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new film will feature multiple stories and be thematically connected by a dachshund, with one of the stories focusing on Dawn. Powerhouse producer and TIME 100 alum Megan Ellison has already signed on to produce through her company Annapurna Pictures.

Sadly, THR adds that Matarazzo will not be returning to the role of Dawn, though fans could get a dream cast in the end as Gerta Gerwig and Julie Deply are in talks to star.

[THR]

TIME Television

Fox Is Developing an Archie TV Series

The Riverdale gang is heading to the small screen

Fox is heading to Riverdale. Archie Comics confirmed Thursday that the cable channel is developing a one-hour drama series based on the beloved comic characters.

The series will follow comic favorites Archie Andrews, Jughead Jones, Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper and Reggie Mantle, along with a newer addition to the Riverdale world: Kevin Keller, a gay character who was introduced in 2010. THR adds that the gang will “explore the surrealistic twists of small-town life, in addition to the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath [their hometown] Riverdale’s wholesome facade.”

The series, which is being produced by Warner Bros. TV-based Berlanti Productions and The Arrow‘s Greg Berlanti, will be penned by former Glee scribe and current chief creative officer at Archie Comics Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

“This is something we’ve been working on for awhile now, figuring out the best way to bring these characters to life for what will be, essentially, the first time,” Aguirre-Sacasa said in a statement. “The entire team working on Riverdale is as passionate about Archie as Jon [Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher/co-CEO] and I are, so it feels like the stars have finally aligned for Archie and the rest of the gang.”

It seems as though the in-the-works TV series is just the latest in a string of moves keeping the Archie universe current; earlier this year, Aguirre-Sacasa tapped Lena Dunham to write her own Archie storyline for the comic.

TIME Video Games

The 5 Best PlayStation 4 Games Right Now

The essential video game checklist for new PlayStation 4 owners

So you just picked up a PlayStation 4, and you’re wondering what to buy. Or maybe you haven’t bought one yet, but you’re leaning in Sony’s general direction. Either way, we think these are hands-down the best games on platform at the moment.

  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

    Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag‘s Caribbean setting is sun-dappled, tropical and thoroughly tattooed, a sultry archipelago of jungle-scapes, cerulean skies and grizzled buccaneers. You’re a pirate neophyte as the game begins, rising through the pirate echelons, rubbing elbows with everyone from Blackbeard to Anne Bonny, working to hammer out a kind of egalitarianism that’s often overlooked in Hollywood’s rush to mythologize pirates as unshowered, bloodthirsty, money-grubbing mercenaries preying on the weak like peg-legged sociopaths.

    Buy this game if… You like pirates, boats, sneaking around and scaling everything in sight, light naval and economic simulations, alternate history tales slathered with cabalistic conspiracies, ginormous open-worlds with gobs of collection-oriented side activities, a literal archipelago of elaborate locales to survey, and a central story you can engage at your own pace, whether chewing through missions one after another, or ignoring them entirely.

    Steer clear if… You don’t like open-ended games or having to travel vast distances to make things happen, have no interest in the particulars of naval combat, find scads of collection quests repetitive, don’t like pirates or early 18th century settings, expect hand-to-hand combat that evolves and challenges, and hate having to slink through the shadows.

    What critics said: “…great fun when you let your impulses guide you” (Game Informer); “…the most generous Assassin’s Creed game to date” (Edge); “…an incredible scope to what you can do” (GameSpot).

    ESRB Rating: Mature

  • Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn

    Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn arrived for PlayStation 3 and Windows last September, and after some early launch problems with glitchy servers, it settled into a kind of groove. It’s been humming along since: a lavish fantasy universe with scads of Final Fantasy-ish things to tangle with, craft and explore. The PlayStation 4 version includes the same content, but with vastly prettier versions of things to look at, and the subscription fee (after the 30-day trail period) remains the same: $12.99 a month, after the cost of the game itself.

    Buy this game if… You don’t mind (or actually like) the idea of playing one with a gamepad, you’re in the mood to pick through a mammoth fantasy sandbox, you enjoy the Final Fantasy games (or just different stylistic takes on Western fantasy tropes), or you want to play the best version of this game on a console (and for that matter, the best MMO on any console).

    Steer clear if… You don’t like MMOs, don’t like fantasy settings, or don’t want to pay a monthly subscription fee.

    What critics said: “My favorite MMO since World of Warcraft” (Destructoid); “…one of the biggest reversals in fortune we’ve seen for a game” (Gameplanet); “the best venue to experience the staggering world” (GameSpot).

    ESRB Rating: Teen

  • Flower

    What would you do if you were the wind? The dream of a potted plant on an urban windowsill? Don’t worry, Flower isn’t a tedious philosophical treatise on the nature of reality, but as you twist the PlayStation 4’s motion-sensing gamepad to maneuver dancing petals through oceans of grass, stone rings, steel girders, windmills, striated caverns and pallid cityscapes, you may find yourself contemplating whether you’re playing a game, or involved in a form of interactive meditation.

    Buy this game if… You want to try something genuinely different, you enjoy environmental puzzles, you love immersing yourself in beautiful and uniquely imagined virtual worlds.

    Steer clear if… You tend to rush through games (in which case Flower may seem brief).

    What critics said: “…has the power to change the way that you look at the outside world” (Push Square); “…like rediscovering an old friend” (USgamer); “…there’s no prettier way to inaugurate your new console” (Hardcore Gamer).

    ESRB Rating: Everyone

  • The Last of Us Remastered

    Developer Naughty Dog’s original PlayStation 3 tale of a horror-numbed survivor escorting a young girl through a broken zombie-filled near-future world won the 2013’s Writers Guild of America award (“Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing”), an Annie (“Best Animated Video Game”) and a Game Developer’s Choice Award (“Game of the Year”). The PlayStation 4 version is simply the original version remastered, but with all the additional content.

    Buy this game if… You appreciate finely crafted storytelling, you love tenterhooks survival horror games with light stealth elements and a dash of third-person shooting, or you just want to experience one of the finest explorations of the way a relationship can work in an interactive game.

    Steer clear if… You scare easily.

    What critics said: “..the version of Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic story of survival that the developer always intended us to play” (EGM); “…a fabulous story, riffing on Cormac McCarthy and other bleak post-apocalyptic fiction” (Telegraph); “…the definitive edition of an already outstanding affair” (Push Square).

    ESRB Rating: Mature

  • Resogun

    Imagine a side-scrolling shoot-em-up (shmup), only the levels fold around until the ends touch, turning the game into a cylinder you can vector across either left or right. The object of the game is to free and save tiny retro-stick-figure humans, powering up your ship and executing special attacks that include a kind of battle-ram maneuver that lets you arrow through waves of enemies, annihilating them without destroying yourself.

    Buy this game if… You love shmups (this is one of the best), you love uniquely convoluted shmups with gorgeous retro-particle animations and effects, you want the option to play a shmup on a difficulty setting that’ll be the challenge of your life.

    Steer clear if… Twitchy, punishing shooting games aren’t your thing.

    What critics said: “…an eye-searing blur of a loop” (Destructoid); “…brilliant stuff, always thrilling and constantly rewarding” (Telegraph); “stands as one of the best ways to be introduced to the recently launched PlayStation 4″ (EGM).

    ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+

TIME Music

Martin Scorsese Signs On as Executive Producer of Grateful Dead Documentary

"The 50 Year Argument" Photo Call - 52nd New York Film Festival
Director Martin Scorsese attends the "The 50 Year Argument" premiere during the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 28, 2014 in New York City. Ilya S. Savenok—Getty Images

The documentary is set to be released next year, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of band's founding

Hollywood director Martin Scorsese will be the executive producer of an upcoming documentary on legendary ’60s rock group the Grateful Dead.

The documentary, which will use a mix of vintage interviews, live concerts and new interviews with surviving members, is slated to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the iconic band’s founding, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Amir Bar-Lev, known for 2010 film The Tillman Story, will direct the yet-to-be-titled Grateful Dead flick.

The band, made up of Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and the late Jerry Garcia, said in a statement that they are honored to have Scorsese on board. “From The Last Waltz to George Harrison: Living in the Material World, from Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones, he has made some of the greatest music documentaries ever with some of our favorite artists,” they said.

Scorsese also released a statement, saying he was happy that the film was being made and honored at being a part of it. “The Grateful Dead were more than just a band,” he said. “They were their own planet, populated by millions of devoted fans.”

[THR]

TIME celebrities

Halle Berry Launches Lingerie Line ‘Scandale Paris’ at Target

People Halle Berry
Actress Halle Berry poses for a photo at a small press event to announce her new lingerie line, Oct. 23, 2014 in New York. Frazier Moore—AP

From Monday you'll be able to buy Berry's new collection at Target for $7 to $18

Halle Berry is relaunching French lingerie line Scandale and teaming up with retailing giant Target to sell in the U.S.

The Oscar-winning actress’s Scandale Paris collection will be available to buy in selected Target stores and online at Target.com from Oct. 27, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Berry discovered the 80-year-old luxury lingerie label while shopping in Paris and wanted to revive the brand globally.

“I fell in love with Scandale while I was in Paris, because the brand reminded me of the city itself — beautiful and inspiring,” Berry said.

The Extant star teamed up with designers at Scandale and lingerie manufacturer Erik Ryd in order to launch a line for the American market.

“I am excited for the U.S. debut to be at Target and to launch the brand globally in 2015. I look forward to giving more women the chance to enjoy what European women have come to love for more than eight decades,” she said.

The 10-piece collection will feature items ranging from $7 to $18.

[L.A. Times]

TIME celebrities

Zelda Williams Honors Father Robin Williams With New Tattoo

The comic actor's daughter shared her new tattoo on Instagram

Zelda Williams, the daughter of Robin Williams, has etched a tribute to her late father onto her hand.

Williams’ tattoo, seen on Instagram, is of a small hummingbird floating on the side of her hand. Her father’s birth date, “7.21.51,” is beneath the bird, on her wrist.

“For poppo,” Williams wrote. “I’ll always put my hand out to shake with a smile.”

The Instagram post is Williams’ first since she quit the image-sharing site two months ago, after her father took his own life. Williams had said in August that she was being harassed by social-media users taunting her with gruesome, Photoshopped images of her dad, and that users were mining her account for pictures of her and the much beloved actor, as well as making conclusions about their private relationship.

In her latest post, she warned users about fake Instagram accounts purporting to be her.

“For the record, no one has ever or will ever speak for me but me,” she said. “Thank you.”

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