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Music Review: Sade – Soldier of Love

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After a 10-year hiatus, Sade Adu has re-emerged on the music scene with a remarkable opus entitled Soldier of Love. Upon review, one will find that when the sacred and secular combine, therein, at the crux, lies Sade.

The 10 tracks on Soldier flow seamlessly together—showcasing the harmonious spiritual connection between Paul Spencer Denman, Andrew Hale, Stuart Matthewman and lead singer, Sade Adu. And according to the band’s electronic press kit, they never enter the studio with a set agenda or prepared lyrics. They just let the music create itself organically.

Such a natural, free-flowing process is a rare occurrence in the contemporary landscape—especially over a thirty-year time period. The band originally formed in 1982, but has only released five studio albums to date. So when Sade’s musical history is kept in mind, the 10-year wait for Solider of Love was not intentional, because the group ultimately believes that music should only be created when one has something to say.

As “soldiers of love,” the members of Sade know (and trust) that love has the power to conquer all—pain, tragedy and confusion. Thus, the opening track, “The Moon and the Sky,” addresses an unknown lover saying: “you always know the reason why / why this love ain’t gonna let you go.” The final notes segue into military cadence of “Soldier of Love” where Adu finds herself at the “borderline of [her] faith” and the “hinterland of [her] devotion.” In spite of all the drama, there is ray of a sunshine at the fringes of despair. On the following track, “Morning Bird,” the delicate piano notes rise softly like the morning sun.

With spirits refreshed, Sade moves onto “Babyfather,” a song that talks about a fine man that catches her eye and has her “stuck in a daze.” With the sun now hanging overhead, “he [has] the whole street set ablaze.” Where this love leads, no one will ever know, but as with all things in life, Sade assures us on “Long Hard Road” that “[everything]” is gonna be alright. Certainly, as the next track states, everything won’t “be that easy,” but love, in the end, “will light the sky.”

One of the album’s standout tracks is “Bring Me Home.” In the second verse, Sade notes that she has “seen the Devil’s eyes” and, at times, “[feels] close, [yet] so far away from God.” Love, however, has brought her home, even though “the last leaf has fallen” and “the ground is full of broken stones.”

Another remarkable track is “In Another Time,” where Sade vents about being “tired of waiting for something to change.” Having spent her fair share of time with a love that “[didn’t] know what to do with something so good,” she assures us that her trail of “tears won’t leave a trace.”

Fittingly, “Skin” is an appropriate kiss-off track, where we find Adu “[beginning] to wash [him] off [her] skin.” Such a task isn’t quite that simple, “but sometimes love has to let go.” With her mind and body free, one finds out, however, that Sade does have a soft spot in her heart. The album closes with “Safest Place,” where the love of Sade’s beau is stored “in a sacred place.”

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About Clayton Perry

  • ron

    awful review.

  • Vanessa

    Very bad review. How did this critic even get the album. He offered nothing.

  • Hater Squasher

    Damn, Clayton. These “anonymous” online haters are coming for your head! Don’t let them get to you, however. You write AMAZING stuff. I found your review to be very insightful. I like how you focused on the lyrical content, instead of the album’s production elements. I’ll definitely be coppin’ the album… BECAUSE of your review! *DEUCES*

  • http://etierphotography.blogspot.com/ FCEtier

    Rather than say is was good or bad, it would be nice if the writers stated what it was about your article that made them either like or dislike it.
    I’m with anonymous #3, I’ll buy the album because I like Sade and your review!

  • Educatedsistah

    I absolutely loved it. I will be purchasing it as soon as it hit the stores. I am a SADe fan for life.

  • http://www.kitotoole.com Kit O’Toole

    From what you said and from hearing the first single, it sounds like Sade is going in a slightly different direction this time. I’m anxious to hear the whole CD. Great job, Clayton!

  • roy

    Thanks for the review. It was a glowing one and has made me even more anxious to get this “opus” of a cd! I have only heard good things about the new project. Even though the first single is slightly different from anything the group has done, it still has the core Sade style. I am very proud of Sade! (But I don’t want to wait another 10 years for a new album!) I have always been a Sade fan. I will cherish this album! Thanks for such a great review!

  • Andro

    I don’t find the review bad at all. It told me something new about the band Sade. I knew that studio sessions were important for them as a band but did not know e.g. that they would go into the studio with even no lyrics or concept. I love Sade even more now. Awesome. Will be my first album purchase of 2010. Thanks for review.

  • DAS

    You could’ve said that the album was garbage, and I still would buy it, only because it’s Sade! Are you serious? Even if for some insane chance that this album after a 10 yr hiatus is bad, it couldn’t be close to as bad as the music that’s being put out right now! Even if Sade recorded a “bad song, it would still be 100 times better than most stuff out today that’s called good.

    She’s an original, I grew up listening to her, and she has always been, and still is to this day original. And still looks phenomenal! I’m buying this album, and from the sound of her title track I heard on the radio, I don’t doubt that the album is off the chain! Nothing manufactured, just pure original Sade. This is what music needs to get back to completely.

  • Chubz

    This album with the exception of “In Another Time” is much like the previous album. It’s really too bad they have abandoned the jazz/rock structure the earlier albums had in favor of the hip/hop/ghetto sound. Her early music is timeless and this, very dated. I’ll buy “In Another Time” but the rest I’ll leave behind.

  • louis jacques

    sorry frends!!i wated 10 years to hear nothing new….hummm is she o downers or wat? i use to love her but im verry dissapointed..

  • Dan

    So strange, since the last album i got divorced and after 8 years we have started to talk and be friendly again! Sade was our album and just as we talk over past mistakes Sade has arrived to say the things we just wouldnt know how to otherwise express! Im sure this rings true for many people over many relationships!

  • Dan

    Chubz
    Feb 03, 2010 at 4:34 pm
    This album with the exception of “In Another Time” is much like the previous album. It’s really too bad they have abandoned the jazz/rock structure the earlier albums had in favor of the hip/hop/ghetto sound. Her early music is timeless and this, very dated. I’ll buy “In Another Time” but the rest I’ll leave behind.

    “what? hip/hop ghetto sound is todays Jazz sounds, its people like you who are stuck in a rut who make music static, Jazz and funk was ridiculed when it first sounded, just like hip hop/ urban is ridiculed now but will become the root of new music going forward, only gets recognised when marketable white folk water it down and replicate it!

  • roy

    I love Sade, but I did not love this new album. “The Moon and the Sky,” “Skin,” “Long Hard Road,” “The Safest Place,” “In Another Time,” and “Soldier of Love,” and maybe “Morning Bird” are the only songs I like. I wish that Sade would have kept the momentum and made better uptempo songs like previous Cherish the Day, Feel No Pain, Nothing Can Come Between us, or Never As Good As The First Time. I was hoping for a more dramatic return. I was disappointed by this album, but I am still a fan. Hopefully Sade will make another album that offers more surprises.

  • Clayton Perry

    Hey, Roy! *grins* 7 out of 10 ain’t bad! *grin widens* I just wish the album ran 10 minutes longer!

  • Linda Davis

    My comments are 2 years late but I must say that this album is very disappointing. Soldier of Love, what the F is she talking about. Those lyrics don’t sound right coming from a veteran’s lips. I think that folks are blindly purchasing this new album because of the brand not the quality of the lyrics or presentation. This is a lazy effort on her part.