Sade Keeps Sultry in a Chokehold

Last month, Sade released Soldier Of Love, her first studio album in 10 years. The ponytailed and ear-hooped goddess with a knack for penning love songs that apply to people with pulses has proven that, at 51 years old, she’s still got it.

Love is and always was Sade’s muse. When you listen to her music, you’re forced to contemplate your current (and past) love situations. I’ve always admired that about her. Countless artists claim not to write love songs so as not to be deemed over-passionate, but she has been unapologetic about doing so this whole time. She’s what you throw in when you want to feel sexy and understood, and sexy and misunderstood.

Even though I have been a fan of Sade’s for most of my life and own all of her albums, my expectations for Solider Of Love weren’t high. I’m just glad that she still feels the desire to write and produce music. She doesn’t need the money; the woman has sold more than 50 million albums and continues to be Britain’s top solo female recording artist. I think that she recorded this album for her family and her conscience. The rest of us are just fortunate enough to be able to access it. Her voice sounds a little deeper and her lyrics are a little wiser. “The Moon And The Sky” and the title track pack the most unchartered fervor, while the remaining eight songs serve up her trademark cocktail of breathy vocals atop digital beats, hip-grinding bass, and earthy strings. Her teenage daughter sings backup vocals on “Babyfather.”

Soldier Of Lovedebuted at number four on the UK Albums Chart, which is Sade’s highest debut in 22 years. It also garnered her first number-one debut in the United States, selling more than 500,000 copies in its first week. Good things come to those who love.

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