I’m embarrassed to admit this, however despite owning nearly every Sade album I did not realize Sade was a band, not just a person. I’m totally annoyed at myself for not knowing this basic fact. In case you too weren’t aware, Sade is a band that took their name from their lead singer, Helen Folasade Adu, who is generally called Sade. Curse you Wikipedia! I wish I had never gone to your Sade entry looking for fun facts for this article! Here’s my fun fact, according to Wikipedia, the Sade entry is “a candidate for speedy deletion. It may be deleted after Friday, 19 February 2010.”
With that out of the way, let’s talk Sade. There are some bands that never really change their sound, and most of the time I poke fun at them. I realize now that I’m just being stupid. Many bands and artists that I like tend to keep the same core sound; Flogging Molly, Run DMC, Jack Johnson and of course, Sade. Yes, I’m telling you that the new Sade album is very similar to previous albums. However I’m also telling you that you should go out and buy this album anyway.
Why? Because it has been ten years, yes ten long years since the last Sade album “Lovers Rock”. In those ten years music has experienced many changes, for better or worse: producers leaning heavily on auto tune, rap artists working with live bands, not just two turn tables and a microphone, artists like Duffy and Amy Winehouse evoking the best of the 60’s and 70’s girl group sounds. All of it can cause you to wonder what Sade’s sound will be like in this new environment. Wonder no longer because I’m here to assure you that Sade has chosen to do what they do best. “Soldier of Love” is almost rebellious in it’s maintaining of the Sade status quo.
Smokey voice? Check. Smooth sounds that you can still tap your foot too? Check. Horn section? Check. Songs exclusively about love? Check. Heck, the lead singer even looks the same as ten years ago! Perhaps she got a hold of whatever technology kept Dick Clark from visibly aging for an obscene length of time.
If you’re like me, and you enjoyed previous Sade albums, do yourself a favor and go buy the latest one. You won’t regret it.
And here, submitted for your approval, the title track “Soldier of Love”.