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Sade Soldiers On With A New CD


SoulBounce has been keeping you updated with the news of Sade's latest, Soldier of Love, and the released tracks and videos have only heightened the anticipation for her long-overdue return. Only Sade could be absent from the music scene for ten years and cause an internet and offline buzz of such high magnitude. The new album brings the familiar mellow and ethereal sound that we have long associated with the elegant Helen Folasade Adu and her highly acclaimed band of musicians. However, Soldier of Love offers little more than a pleasant rehash of the sound and energy that we have grown up with over the years when listening to past Sade albums--from Diamond Life to Lover's Rock--and, frankly, that may not be enough this go round to lead one to buy it. While new listeners of the Sade sound may fall in love--simply because this is the signature sound of Sade--die-hard fans who have followed Sade for her entire career may listen to this disc and realize that it may be time to stop believing that there will be another Sade output that can rival the heat brought on Stronger Than Pride or Love Deluxe.

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The first single, "Soldier of Love," is, by far, the standout on the
record. The aggressive, punctuating energy of this song was the spark
this CD needed by offering a vocally confrontational side that we may
not have seen before. However, the newness offered in "Soldier of Love"
does not spread to other tracks on this short 10-track collection.

There is a definite tone of wistful love on this disc and while it's
the rehashed sound of beloved Sade albums from years past, the lyrics
are interesting enough to hear and ponder. Sade's songs have always
used the most simple poetic verse to express mountains of emotion and Soldier of Love
does not stray from that trend. You can't deny the in-your-face honesty
that is delivered almost matter-of-factly--"I'm going to peel you away,
cause you're not right within/Now it's time to wash you off my
skin"--like on the tune "Skin." However, while great metaphor abounds,
"Skin" resonates with traits of earlier Sade tunes like "All About Our
Love" from Lover's Rock. With that said, it's not necessarily a
bad thing, because past work by Sade is nothing less than stellar.
However, if you are looking for something new to be delivered by this
musical legend, then you may be a bit disappointed. It definitely seems
that the band Sade has found a tried and true sound and they are
sticking to it.

Sade Soldier of Love [Amazon][iTunes]


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13 Responses

  1. I finally ordered my CD today! I a total Sade die hard & have enjoyed what I have heard from this new album thus far.
    Funny that you mentioned the heat of past albums. lover's Rock & Love Deluxe are my absolute favorites!!!
    In terms of her musical formula, if it aint broke, dont fix it.

  2. If Sade decided to read a phonebook on wax/cd, i'd still remain a die hard fan and buy that.

  3. It's a very mellow album even by Sade standards but it's still a great CD

  4. I'm just waiting on the tour. Heard her say on TJMS last week that there will a tour. I don't care how much it costs, I'll be there!

  5. Thank you! Was beginning to think I was chopped liver on my island of Sade angst. Disappearing for almost a decade does not give you a free lunch* You still have to prove why we need to spend our hard earned $ on your efforts.
    *Caveat...unless your name is Maxwell of course!!!

  6. I became a follower of Sade in Europe in the fall of 1984, even before this sound hit the US and the rest of the world. I love this woman, this band, their image, and the enduring mark they've made musically. I'm not disappointed here, but there is a bit too much of…something. The liner notes from the CD, to me, tells the tale - "Sade Adu - Vocals, Programming; Stuart Matthewman, Guitar, Sax, Programming; Andrew Hale - Keyboards, Programming; Paul S. Denman – Bass. “ The lyrics are deep, which is what we expect from Ms. Adu, a true poet. I’m missing the organic feel they usually give in their music on this project. Is there too much mixing/programming?

  7. I feel like this album is lacking the cuts that i grew up on & the ones i still groove to like "Nothing Can Come Between Us", "Smooth Operator", and "Hang On To Your Love" . don't get me wrong, Sade's voice is still amazing and "Soldier of Love" is a great song. But I don't get the same feeling I get when i throw on that classic Sade. That being said, i'm still 100% looking forward to this album & will be standing in line early tomorrow morning for my copy!
    mishionsmusiclounge.blogspot.com

  8. Got the album, and I am quite satisfied...the only song I don't listen to is "Soldier of Love". This is a solid soul album, I don't care what yall say the tracks will be jacked by mix tape rappers, they are perfectly formatted for remixes, simple, not too many tracks.
    You can't tell me:
    Babyfather- ain't well written and sonically tight.
    Morning Bird- tender and well written, sonically slower developing than the average music fan has patience for.
    Long Hard Road- One of the better songs on the whole album. fuses hip-hop beats, strings and genuine acoustic guitar chord progressions.
    Be That Easy-fuses elements of soul and alternative/indie music
    Bring Me Home- Uptempo, don't be surprised to see Raekwon spit on this.
    The Safest Place- typical Sade low tempo acoustic driven layered ballad.
    Moon, your opinion is your own and I respect that. But it feels like you're reviewing Lover's Rock, that album to me was a let down. The musicality and production was a swing and a miss. And in turn, the lyricism as well followed suit. Around the 10th or so spin of this album many of the subtlties will sink in. Strings, back-up singers variety of instruments craftmanship of instrumented tracks. I feel this is one of her most complete albums. She didn't try to do too much or reinvent too many wheels.
    If there was one gripe, I just wish she would have cashed in a bit of that industry stock to get a harmonica solo from Stevie or a stealth contribution by British artist.

  9. Also thought I would share comments made by Merrian Brooks in the LA Times blog Reviews that pretty much coin the album better than I ever could:
    "I disagree that the title track Solider of Love is some kind of rebellion. Anyone who knows the Stuart Matthewman and Andrew Hale combo is VERY familiar these fierce bassy sounds. Its a strong sound because its a strong song. I'm no expert of the sotto voce or indigo colored themes but I know Sade very well and this album to me (got to listen to it a few days early) is a contemporary but classic Sade band production. Thats what they have done over their span as a group. They have updated their music, adding a freshness that reflects growth. Yet they are still classic Sade. The Sade that has always been just as down to earth as it is sexy, just as thoughtful as it is emotional. They have always made emotional music that spanned the breadth of feelings from sadness to hopefulness to pure true love. This album like the others, expresses disappointment in love, hope in love, family love, strength in love. On her website she talks about making the album and she says she doesn't have a plan when she makes these she (and all the members of SADE which is not a person but a group) just makes sure they are made with love. Sade fans of course will love this ... its been a decade we are desperate! But EVERYONE who is a fan of genuine smokey soul music that gets to what you have probably felt sometime in your life about one relationship or the other, will love this album. The lyrics are fresh, the vocals smooth. I do agree that the musicians of the group are masters at making the music layered and complex without going over-board, and that there is a definite feeling to the album that is very well tied together. I have listened to it straight through so easily twice now. My only complaint is that, like the others there isn't enough! 10 songs!!!! come on Sade 🙂
    Who says that expressions of sadness can't be relaxing? She has always at least one or two songs that were not 'hopeful' in their lyrics. I find the album to be very relaxing and very easy to listen to as if they were favorites on first or second listen. Listen to it straight through when you buy it and see what I mean."

  10. Thanks @Manamongst Hussein for cutting and pasting another review to second the opinion you already posted:-). I understand loyalty, and I get it, you are a loyal Sade fan. I am a big-time Sade fan as well. Her new CD, however, I can take it or leave it. It's just that simple.
    I did want to point out that your opinion and the LA Times review reflects a point I mentioned above-- the new Sade CD is what we are familiar with.
    So, with that said and cutting and pasting my own review, I will repeat:
    "With that said, it's not necessarily a bad thing, because past work by Sade is nothing less than stellar. However, if you are looking for something new to be delivered by this musical legend, then you may be a bit disappointed. It definitely seems that the band Sade has found a tried and true sound and they are sticking to it.

  11. Shlo, there has been a fair amount of programming since Love Deluxe so this is nothing new.

  12. I didn't put hat quote there to prove or disprove anything you said, simply to highlight that you had valid views as well and there is no right answer to any review. I clearly stated that this quote was lifted from another review, thanks for repeating the obvious...hence the quotations and h/t. Lets not be sensitive, no where near a huge fan, so my perspective is clear...and not lingering with albums of the past, fodder for a pedestrian review, you got your word count in...

  13. Bought my copy Wed and not really feeling it. It's boring. @manamongst, u sure posted a lot of comments not to be a Sade fan.
    Sade hasn't topped Love Deluxe.



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