Being a Sade fan is the worst kind of addiction.
Because she performs and records so rarely, you'll jump at the first hint of a new track or a live performance or an anything. So, when I saw there was a new Sade mixtape by DJ Mars of History of Mixtapes, along with DJ Finesse and DJ Doc, I couldn't click the download link fast enough. For me, the concept is great, but I found the actual work sorely lacking. I rate mixtapes based on execution, playlist, whether it makes me go "ohhhhhhh" at some point, and whether I'm left wondering why they didn't play (insert track here)?
Execution: DJ Premier said the definition of a mixtape is "... scratchin, cuttin, mixin...if you don't have that, G, you got a #$%^ compilation." Kiss of Life, the mixtape, is, unfortunately, a compilation. Yeah, there are are no track gaps, but it tries to be a Quiet Storm and dance mix on one tape and that's literally mixing metaphors, no pun intended. I was left bored through the whole first half. I think the reason this one failed to live up to its promise could be too many DJs in the booth. For something like this, I suspect it's hard to get a groove going between three DJs on a one-artist mixtape. At about 34:58, they shift gears and make it a dance mix, but the beats aren't matched well on the transitions so you get some "bumpy" sections.
Playlist Choice: If you subtitle something "The Best of Sade," you have to bring it. Kiss leads off with a live version of "Cherish the Day," but throws a cold bucket of water on it when they go into the trippy dub cut "Sensation" next. Why they included "Mermaid," "The Moon and the Sky" and "Skin" on a "best of" mix is beyond me. I found myself waiting for "Paradise," "Sweetest Taboo" and "Smooth Operator" to come in and they don't. Midway when they shift it into club mode, they chose some unremarkable David Morales-ish club mixes of "Stronger Than Pride," "Couldn't Love You More," "Surrender Your Love to Me" and "By Your Side."
Ohhhhhhh Factor: None
Wish They'd Included: "Paradise," "The Sweetest Taboo," "Smooth Operator," "Is It a Crime"
Net-net: Skip the first 35 min. Listen to the 2nd half on the elliptical machine.
Download This If: You'll listen to anything Sade does or you need a decent 30 min workout tape.
Rating: 2 tapes (out of 4)