On 15 April 2013, the album was re-released as Devotion – The Gold Edition. It includes a bonus disc with four tracks, two of which are previously unreleased, including a new single, "Imagine It Was Us". One day later, this version of the album was released in the United States under its original title. The album was recognized as one of the 100 best albums of the decade so far by Pitchfork in August 2014.
In the years prior to releasing her first solo album, Ware did backing vocals at live shows for Jack Peñate (who took her on tour in America) and Man Like Me. Ware said she learned a lot during her time with Jack Peñate: "Performing with him was really good training, because I got to learn all about how other people do it – I was able to perform live without the pressure of being a lead singer. It gave me a taste of what to expect, and it prepared me for what I’m doing now." It was one of Peñate's bandmates, Tic, who first introduced Ware to SBTRKT; Ware and SBTRKT went on to collaborate on Nervous (2010). She consequently met Sampha, best known as SBTRKT's main collaborator and live member. They created "Valentine" together, which was released on a special edition, heart-shaped vinyl by Young Turks in 2011. "Valentine" was partly inspired by James Blake's song "The Wilhelm Scream" and based on their own personal experiences in love. The music video for Valentine was directed by Marcus Söderlund. "Nervous", "Valentine" and an additional collaboration with DJ Joker ("The Vision") led Ware to a record deal with PMR Records. She also featured on Ceremonials, the 2011 album by Florence and the Machine in which her good friend Florence Welch is lead singer.
Devotion received general acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 85, based on 27 reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim".
Mike Diver of BBC Music wrote, "Devotion is the sort of sophisticated, soulful pop record that comes along all too rarely, a collection that never hides the heart on its sleeve. Down-tempo it may be, but no listener will come away downcast. Overlook the relatively low chart positions for Running and 110%, as they're hardly indicative of the quality on display. Ware never stretches for an out-of-reach note; she never gives her songs over to hyperbole or bombast. Throughout, there is a well-measured, well-mannered elegance that engages with more efficiency than many an artist dressing their material up as The Next Big Thing. There's nothing 'next' about Ware: she's here, now, and superb".
Tim Jonze of The Guardian wrote, "Sophisticated, smooth and sensual, in the wrong hands Devotion could easily have been a footnote in the New Boring movement, that vibrant strain of youth culture that has already given us Emeli Sandé, Adele and Bruce Springsteen concerts that wrestle with the spacetime continuum itself. Yet Jessie Ware's debut album is saved by one fact: for all her album's poise and restraint, dance music clearly runs through this 27-year-old south Londoner's veins. Throughout Devotion you're never told to sit up and pay attention. Instead it quietly works its magic, a genuinely individual statement by an artist who didn't expect to become a pop star, but might struggle to stop it happening anyway – after all, the groove is in her heart".