On the frontlines with Sade

 

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The cover of this album is undoubtedly what will grab your attention first, the portrait of Sade as beautiful as a Mayan maiden in an inspired backless gown with the quintessential roses in her hair looking over the ruins, then you see the title, Soldier of Love and you feel the story of a girl who waited for her love, a girl looking at the hardships of her love but a girl who waits still in her best gown for his return and that in a nutshell is what this album is about.

“I only make records when I feel I have something to say. I’m not interested in releasing music just for the sake of selling something. Sade is not a brand.” Sade is an artist and 10 years after her critically and commercially acclaimed album Lovers Rock she has something to say and the world should listen.

Recorded at Peter Gabriel’s famous Real World Studios in south west England, Soldier of Love debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 upon its worldwide release on the 8th of February 2010. From the first track her distinct voice captures your attention, her simple yet complex lyricism keeps it and your body can’t help but sway along to the various beats with Spanish, Hip Hop, Jazz and classic R&B undertones. The title track and lead single Soldier of Love is a hard-hitting track with so much to say “I’m at the borderline of my faith/ I’m at the hinterland of my devotion/ in the frontlines of this battle of mine/ but I’m still alive”.

This album presents classic song like Babyfather which speaks of a father’s love for his children and my personal favourite Be that easy which speaks of the best kind of love, the love that gives you hope and support “That’s just like you to tell me/ have nothing to fear” with melodic whistling in the background and the soulful tones of the best intentions and so much love.

The only criticism I could speak of is that her past albums were very biographical, she was the traveller that brought the world back with her in her music and she told the stories of poverty, loss and survival. Her classic image is untouched though by this discrepancy because she is still Sade and all her fans know it. This is easy Sunday afternoon music, when the world outside can wait till Monday.


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2 thoughts on “On the frontlines with Sade

  1. I listened to this over the weekend and was disappointed. The album seems a far cry from Lover’s Rock or Stronger than Pride. It also seems that age hasn’t been too kind to Sade’s incredibly unique vocals. One can’ t help feeling that she is struggling at times. What do you think?

  2. It’s true that Stronger than Pride and Lovers Rock were brilliant but i think this is a new perspective for a more lived Sade, when you consider the changes over the last ten years in her life and her age, i see it as a sort of rebirth of her signature sound. Due to her excessive smoking her voice has deteriorated but just as Whitney Houston’s, she’s still Sade and that Smooth Operator element still exists for me. I think we must be careful of being too rigid in our own tastes when it comes to artists and music because as we change so do they and subsequently their sound.

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