Still in search of love
Most of us who grew up with a heavy dose of the music of the last century would immediately recognise Sade – the elegant Soul/ Jazz siren who enthralled us with her highly rhythmic and melodic numbers. Right from her debut Diamond Life onwards, who can possibly miss the evergreen numbers Smooth Operator and Love is King? One of the most iconic female vocalists alive, Sade, who is now 50, heralded a new beginning in the pop music scene with her stylish image. The iconic singer is back in the news once again with her latest album, Soldier of Love.
Although I grew up listening to Sade (who in our music crazy region didn’t?), Sade never held much of an interest for me. But over the last few years, when much of the life in the R&B world seems to have come to a standstill with more emphasis being laid on creating music intended to sell rather than to inspire, I have started admiring her more and more. Maybe this is a result of my quest to find significant elements of the music I am listening to. Judging from that angle, I already had my hopes pinned on her last album, much before it was even released.
Soldier of Love, thankfully, does not disappoint and lives up to those expectations. The album is a perfect example of Sade’s individual style – smooth velvety funk with the use of the orchestra. Sade is still singing about love and her songs and voice can still make you frolic in ecstasy or writhe in agony. The latter occurs when one listen’s to the intoxicating The Moon and The Sky, a track in which Sade mourns the loss of a man that she loved and who left her alone and lonely. “You’ll always know the reason why/ We could’ve had the moon and the sky/The reason why this love/The reason why this love/Ain’t gonna let you go!” A haunting guitar string repeats itself throughout the song and really sets the mood of sadness and despair.
The title track is very different from the band’s earlier work. The music is more aggressive with heavy military drums, gritty guitars, and a dark backdrop. Sade sees love as a battlefield that continually tears her heart to shreds, but she refuses to back down in defeat. “Still waitin’ for love to come and turn it all around!” she sings. While the concept isn’t the most original, Sade takes it to another level altogether and is a perfect choice for a single.
My favourite track would have to be In Another Time, where like a mother, Sade comforts those with a broken heart and assures them that they’d “be surprised, girl/Soon they’ll mean nothing to you/They’ll fall into their brew/And take some of the boys with them too”.
All in all, an excellent album and a nice nostalgic ride. This album proves that while Sade’s been gone for a decade, she hasn’t lost even a bit of her touch. Her voice is as smooth as ever and the band is always on their game. A must buy!