Friday, February 05, 2010
Album Review: Sade - Soldier of Love (4/5)
Much hasn't changed on Sade's sixth album Soldier of Love, still as subtle as ever, Adu's voice is still heart-warningly cooling, the harmonies and melodies still as captivating, the message; still a delicate voyage of discovery of that inconceivable love. So what sets this apart from their last release Lovers Rock ten years ago? Well, nothing. It's almost as if they have taken everything that was good about that album and perfected it for this.
Setting the mood is the brewing "The Moon And the Sky," a romantic tale about deception between lovers. Calming bass lines under a sweeping string and guitar arrangement embracing that warm urban-feel through Adu's smoky vocal and soft cascades of orchestration. Scattering military-styled drums, rugged riffs and burst of electronic guitar build the foundations for title track and lead single "Soldier of Love," probably the albums most slightly experimental track.
Beautifully composed "Morning Bird,"embracing a haunting feel through poingangt piano keys and pacing tamborines. It's really sweet, as is follow-up and more bass line fronted "Babyfather" a subtle Jamaican-trimmed number, thumping a silky groove with a soft enchanting touch. I also like the trumpets towards the end. "Long Hard Road," similarly to "Morning Bird," is another haunting number with tamborines however switching up the piano keys for an acoustic guitar and orchestration.
"Be that Easy" has a cool sultry country vibe with flourishes of light alternative rock, finding Adu harmonizing over a mournful string, drum and guitar composition, duped with some hearty harmonies. My favorite track on here is "In Another Time" a heart-felt ballad that throws back to a sultry '70s motown sound. Pact with orchestration, drums, keyboards and violins towards the end.
I thought this album could have been my first five-star of the year and decade, however the last couple tracks towards the end aren't as good as the previous tracks. I'm not really feeling "Bring Me Home," "Skin," is underwhelmingly boring and I'm not sure what closing track '"The Safest Place" is trying to do, a very dull ballad with no melody.
Soldier of Love is a great follow-up to Lovers Rock, It definately has its moments. I think it's amazing how Sade can embark on a ten-year break return and still have fan awaiting their work, I'm sure it doesn't happen often for most bands.
Best: In Another Time, The Moon And the Sky, Morning Bird, Solider of Love, Be that Easy