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.”