Album Review -- Sade: Soldier of Love

Part of me is ashamed for having even downloaded this album, with my very much on-the-outside crush for Helen Folasade Adu, professionally known as Sade. The other part of me sits and thinks of the fact that music has so terribly sucked over the last several years. Evidence in this can be found in the outputs of Beyonce and Rihanna compared to Sade.
So much being said, I HAD to download this album before I would allow myself to spend good money on it. Sorry Sade, blame it on the head and not the heart.

1: The Moon and the Sky
Okay, this album is off to a not-too-fast (in physical pace, not quality) start, and I like it already. The music here matches her voice, cadence and writing well. I am not even one to nitpick on things like the fact that I STILL liked Sweetback better as her backing band, but the guitar work in this song makes it worth the price of admission, which is still $0.00 to this point.
Good start to things here.

2: Soldier Of Love
Okay, I get a short horn [pause...] and some VERY nice drums, and a VERY large guitar on this song. This beat is a bit busy for Sade's approach to it, but she is using it quite well. I mean, anyone reading this SHOULD have heard this song already, and opinions of it should be formed on it. It is a single, it comes across as one. Yet and still, I STILL like the song.
[Quoth The Katie - her voice is DEEP!]
These drums closing out this song are what my wet dreams are made of, the snares are crisp and HUGE, kick drums are downplayed, but felt and the toms do what they must while the pan-mixed hi-hat bounces around it.. 11 thumbs up (I'm an alien, don't judge me!).

3: Morning Bird
Lower energy than the song before it, beginning with strings and a piano. I am PRAYING for a ballad, praying with all I got...
Well, I didn't get the ballad I wanted, but the tambourines are making me happy. Sade paces herself against a musical accompaniment that builds new elements at the end of each few bars without her (or more importantly, me) becoming distracted by the beat or the clackityclackityclack of this keyboard I am beating up on right now. Again, this song is a lot of music and comparatively less wording, but with a package that creates a song.
I have not yet on this album experienced the goosebumps that prior Sade albums still give me 25 years after release.
Still, 3 songs in and I have yet to hear a song I will not listen to again.

4: Babyfather
The title of this song has me terribly worried, as do the intro bars as I type this... Gimme a minute to listen to this before continuing.
Okay, she is not doing this production terrible, or this production is not taking me from her on it. Something about it, for some odd reason is putting me in the mind of Marley's Redemption Song, and I cannot quite put my finger on it.
Know, however, that Redemption Song is on my top 10 Marley songs list, so I am not complaining.
Okay, on the second verse, I get the Sade voice I am used to and I am naturally loving it. Apparently, someone thought what I was thinking about the Marley connection, as Ila Adu on this song sounds VERY MUCH like 2 of Robert Nesta's sons and I am STILL not mad at this in the least.

5: Long Hard Road [heheheh, that's what SHE said, giggitygiggitygoo]
All jokes (or at least some of them), I like the way this song intros, with 2 guitar bars, and IMMEDIATELY to business is Mrs. Adu.
Yes, the sexy voice we're used to is in full effect in a beat with nothing more than a kick, a snare and brush with that guitar.
Well shit, there came some string synths, but I ain't bitchin'.
I have still not had a goosebump moment on this album, but damned if EVERY song has not been serviceable in the making of great music and what is SURE to be some babies in the future for some people.
Wow, pause between chorus and verse, I love the effect it gives,
Short song, but I like it.

6: Be That Easy
This one strikes me as country music-like at the beginning, with the loping guitars and organic sounding drums. When she finally sings, it becomes Roots Reggae somewhat, which is not too far from American country music when one stops to think about it.
I am still not mad at this, but I WILL dub this my least favorite song on the album. Lyrics and point are still made, but the vessel just isn't all the way doing it for me.

7: Bring Me Home
I am on this beat already, and I am 10 seconds in!
Sade is doing it right, as one might expect us to. The voice, the music, there is this symbiotic relationship, this is so perfect.
This sounds like a 1995 RZA beat, only it is not purposely dirtied to sound older. The drums are right, the melody revolves around itself like Funkadelic's Maggot Brain or anything I have ever made and I LOVE it.
The singing on this comes off as dark, perfectly fitting the descriptions given. Mixing Sade's voice to use the lead vocals as backups in SOME spots on the vocals is a WONDERFUL touch.
Okay, the strings and flute before the last verse? Ho-lee SHEEIT!!!
Okay, I have a favorite song on this album now.

*pause to make water and get another Yuengling*

8: In Another Time
Hmm... This song starts off as something Sam Cooke or Bill Withers might sing on if either of them were still alive...
Wait, Bill Withers is still alive?
Get him on this song, then.
I wish I could accurately describe how this is going over so far in words, but it just wouldn't work. This song took a long time to get good, though it was never horrible, to say the least.
Building of the music and of elements of the song itself toward the end of verses makes it worth the price of admission, as do the introduction of the saxophone. This song should be scratchy as hell and sung in an old jazz bar filled with smoke and smelling like whiskey.
And I LOVE that kinda music, word to my late granddaddy whose birthday is in 2 weeks.

9: Skin
Hmm... The music on this is more "modern" than I usually get from her, but I do not dislike it, as it reminds me of Rough Ends, only with a slower pace.
Sade sits on a beat better than anyone of her ilk. Her voice soothes and comforts, even when Katie is laughing uncontrollably at things derived from internet memes from years past.
[Phlip note - imagine that there was a pause button and better than half that beer consumed right there just now]
This is a good song, though it seems to be a bit of a setup for the end of the album to take place on the next song. More of a calm before the storm than a denouement.
Again, solace comes in the fact that we get the consistency of Sade and her voice here. No complaints from Team Phlip.

10: The Safest Place
Sade closes an album not with the highest-energy song, never has. She DOES, however, end the album right.
She sings as soon as the music starts, and does not stop the entire time. Her words make sense in the context of both the song title and points to be made. The music builds, reduces and re-builds behind her and does so, as usual, without distracting from her or her from it.
With that, this short song on a short album is drawn to a close...

Here's a fact:
Sade has not been in the news talking shit about another singer, in direct or thinly veiled wording.

I only know what Sade's titties and ass look like because there is no secret that she modeled them in real life years ago, not getting out of some coon's rented Bentley at a club opening.

Sade has ALWAYS put it on the floor with her talent when it comes to making and releasing her music, and this album is no different, not even a little bit.

All those things considered, I am absolutely planning to swing by FYE and part with $9.99 plus applicable sales taxes for this album. Again, it has a lot to do with the LACK of a circus surrounding the release of the album, so much as just going in and making the damned music.
No, this is not my favorite Sade Album, but NO singer will EVER make Diamond Life ever again.

That being said, this album gets a thumbs-up review and will eventually get my cash.
Now, I will wash my ass and go to bed.


Kousen Tora said…
Couple more fact you forgot to mention:

1. Real musicians!!!


Hey all you so called singers out there that might read this, I DARE you all to try singing without it (yes that includes you, Beyonce) and use real musicians instead of a computer!! I'm pretty sure you tramps out there can't do it!!!!
Tony Grands said…
My dad wants this album. Good looks, Phlip. I wouldn't have thought about getting it otherwise.
Dope. I'm going to have to DL it then. Soldier of Love just makes me think of when music was good. I can't help but love it.

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