SadeSolider of Love
(Released February 9, 2010)
Guess what Sade and Rihanna have in common? Besides their hat size?
OK, OK, I'll behave. I'll go easy on the forehead jokes.
Anyway, it's amazing that Sade's newest single, "Soldier of Love," has been added to rotation on our local hip-hop radio station, along with Rih-Rih and the other goons.
Most veterans in this stage of their careers never make that sort of headway. But, Sade fans, don't worry your pretty little heads about your girl selling out. The album is pretty much classic Sade - for better and for worse.
I've always had a hard time wrapping my head around the band. I'll be the first to admit their talent and the fact that they churn out quality music ("Your Love Is King" is played regularly at GeorgiaMae headquarters) but they also have the innate ability to make every single one of their songs depressing.
Just dive headfirst into the album and you'll see what I mean. The opening track, "The Moon and the Sky," is an awesome track about a negligent lover. The wailing guitar licks just add to Sade's agony. The downward spiral continues with the poetic "Morning Bird." With lyrics like "The ghost of my joy/won't let me be/if you set me free I will not run/I will not run," Sade sounds like she's headed to the psych ward.
"Babyfather," an ode to fatherhood, lightens the mood a bit before we head back to pity city. By the time you reach the second half of the disc, tracks like "Bring Me Home" and "In Another Time" start running together thanks to the similar themes and arrangements. I can handle a little depression but sheesh, sometimes Sade makes you wanna go shopping for a casket and headstone.
But that's nothing new for the band. Even when they're at their cheeriest, like 1993's classic "Cherish the Day," they still sound down in the dumps. Maybe that's just how they operate. In the words of the great Headrick, ahem, Fredrick Douglass, "If there is no struggle, there is no progress."
Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Sade has always been an acquired taste. Newer fans expecting to bob their heads to a bunch of tracks like "Soldier of Love" will probably just end up scratching their heads in confusion. Old school fans, however, can hold hold their heads high and rejoice - the decade-long wait for this album was worth it.
As for me, while there are some really good tracks here, all the sadness gives me a headache. I'll stick with what I know.
Now where's my Heather Headley CD?
Best tracks: "The Moon And The Sky," "Babyfather," "Solider of Love"
3.5 stars out of 5