There are not many artists that can stay away from the scene for a decade and not suffer consequences especially in these accelerated times that we are living. The Sade band holds that distinction. After the millennium release of “Lover’s Rock”, Sade toured the states at least twice. That tour culminated in the release of the “Lover’s Rock Live!” CD/DVD. It was an entertaining documentation of that successful endeavor. Fans would have to feast on its wonders for a decade before any new music would be heard again.
In comes the insistent drumming of “Soldier of Love” and immediately fans are relieved once again to hear that seductive voice and brilliant musicianship. The track soared up the Urban radio AC charts and hit the summit within 4 weeks. Sade’s intimate relationship with video/photographer Sophie Muller continues on. The dark, militaristic video images perfectly compliment this songs bold declaration. The album opens with “The Moon and Sky”, another signature Sade song.
The dreamy “Morning Bird” harkens back to “Love Deluxe”’s beautiful “Pearls”. Tentative violins compliment Denny Hale’s deliberate tickling of the ivories. You immediately float away in the hypnotic track. Where “Pearls” told the story of the tragedy of a mother’s desperately plea to feed her starving children in the African wilderness, “Morning Bird” is more introspective and reflective…yet, no less impactful.
The reggae-tinged “Babyfather” has echoes of South African call and response empowering a child to forge ahead in life. One can imagine had President Obama’s father prove worthy of his “Dreams of a Father” autobiography, it would have been inspired by a father reminding his child that he would always be there. “Babyfather” would be the kind of lyrics that our President would undoubtedly bestow on his two daughters. “Be That Easy” could be a companion piece to “Baby Father”. It is melodic and melancholic. It is no coincidence that during her sabbatical away from the music scene, her main role was that of loving mother to her now teenage child.
The tempo picks up for “Bring Me Home” and is prime for great remixes.
The violin solo in “Another Time” floats into a soulful saxphone as the waltz-like track transforms into a bluesy, “Skin” is a personal favorite. It references Michael, with a line “like Michael back in the day” and the music shimmies along…..”I’m goin’ to peel you away….as I wash away my skin”. A subtle guitar solo cleverly rides over the groove as the song drifts to an end.
“The Safest Place” is the shortest track packing a potent ending to the 10-track return of one of music’s most dependable hitmaking ensemble known as Sade. Fans have a spring and summer tour that undoubtedly will follow in its predecessor and become one of the most successful tours of 2010.
About the Writer
K. Bonin has worked in the music industry for the last three decades. He describes himself as "a child of Motown and the classic rock era." Having spent the balance of his career at Arista Records, his experience and passion gives him a unique perspective on music and the music industry.