Jessie Ware “Turn Around (Conor Maynard Cover)”

Had the decision to choose what song Jessie Ware would cover on her BBC Live Lounge appearance been left to us, you better believe we would have went the predictable route and had her tackle some Sade. If such a move would have been considered too “on the nose” by her (an understandable reaction considering the similarities), our consolation requests really would have proven to be just as “original”: perhaps Lisa Stansfield or Soul II Soul as a shout-out to some other classic Brit-soul act; or, expanding on Ware’s appreciation for a good quiet storm groove, maybe Janet Jackson’s “That’s The Way Love Goes” or Whitney Houston’s “Saving All My Love For You”; or maybe something jazzy and soulful she could wrap her caramel-smooth pipes around like The Crusaders & Randy Crawford’s 1979 classic “Street Life”?

Basically, when it comes to tunes we would love for Jessie to handle, our list may not be the most creative but it is long, with the guarantee that nowhere on the list would something from current British teen-pop sensation Conor Maynard be found. However, that’s the direction Ware ended up going during her appearance yesterday in the Live Lounge studios, taking on the YouTube-discovered Maynard’s Ne-Yo-featured Top 10 UK hit “Turn Around”.

While the track wouldn’t have been…hell, our millionth cover choice for the much-loved songstress and the performance starts off a bit shaky, by the second verse, Ware really starts to dig her toes into this, hooking up the backing band’s crisp R&B-jazz arrangement with some grand belt power that adds a diva-polished coat of “umph!” to the original’s romantic lyric and brief segue into Ne-Yo’s hook from “Give Me Everything” near the end.

A pleasant surprise that’s only made us even more fond of the talented Jessie.