After a ten year hiatus, Sade, returns to the music spotlight with the highly anticipated Soldier of Love. The album is built on the theme of strength and love, bringing with it a heavyhearted aggressiveness no other Sade release has carried. The baggage is emotional on the opener, “The Moon And The Sky,” a weary cut that bears resemblance to classic Sade songs with its captivating instrumentation and lyricism.
The title track seamlessly marches and lassos onto the set directly thereafter keeping with the dreary tone, yet offering a more upbeat attitude especially with the hook and the lyrics of “in the wild wild west/trying my hardest/doing my best, to stay alive.” It is a song of survival intertwined with an impressive drum beat and a Sade vocal that is both intense and vociferous.
For those listeners expecting to toast a glass of Moscato and dine on chocolate covered strawberries as previous Sade releases have allowed, Soldier of Love, offers no lush grooves. It would seem as if the years have enriched Sade, where quality and emphasis are more important than recording quiet storm escapes. This is evident on the reflective, “Be That Easy,” a coffee house number that is both sultry and succulent and the reggae wave of “Babyfather,” a story on fathers who are not husbands.
Sade hearkens back to her incomparable style on “Skin,” which is one of Soldier’s gems behind the title track. It offers a shadow of what fans have been missing these ten years. The album’s finale, “The Safest Place,” continues in the same direction that previous closers have embarked on with wrenching lamentations.
Helen Folasade Adu was quoted as saying “I only make records when I feel I have something to stay.” Soldier of Love may not offer the romanticism of Love is Stronger than Pride or the intoxicating emotion of Love Deluxe, but it captures a side of Sade never heard, making it worth the wait.
Soldier of Love receives a full PARLÉ
Parlé album pick…
Sade – Skin