Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Sade, Soldier of Love

Another eight years, another Sade CD.  Sade burst on the scene with mega-hit “Smooth Operator” in 1984.  Several relatively fast albums followed and then she slowed into her current groove.  Eight year gaps have separated each of her last three albums.  This isn’t a sound business strategy if you’re an act trying to maximize visibility and income.  For a mature artist like Sade who is apparently interested in making music when and how it suits her, it works just fine.

Although she has not been prolific, most listeners will know what to expect from a Sade CD: that lovely, mellow, and somewhat exotic voice, lilting rhythms, and smooth mid-tempo arrangements.  That’s pretty much exactly what you’ll get on Soldiers of Love.  For the most part Sade sings love and relationship songs and much has been made of the darker view of these topics she takes on Soldiers of Love in comparison with her earlier albums.  I don’t know her lyrics well enough to know if this is the case and lyrics for any artist tend to get through to me only if interest in in the music has led me play the album many times.  Listeners who enjoy Sade for her lyrics will not be helped much by this review, I’m afraid.

I listen to Sade for rhythm, groove and the sound of her voice.  On these grounds Soldiers of Love is a qualified success.  The voice is there and for the most part that’s enough.  I think I would find it pleasant to hear Sade sing her grocery list.  There are more downtempo numbers on Soldiers of Love than I would like which lessens the lilting groove content.  This may well reflect the less optimistic view of relationships mentioned above and so may find favor with listeners who are tuned into Sade’s current lyrical focus.

Soldiers of Love is soft pop that is professionally, elegantly and quietly sung, played and recorded.  If you are a Sade fan there is much here to like and even if not much is all that different from the CDs she has made in the past, the opportunity to hear new Sade material after an eight year wait may justify buying the album.

“Babyfather” from Soldiers of Love

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05/07/2010 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews | , ,

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