Sade music review

Like a comet, this band don’t come around too often

Music feature

Soldier of Love
3/5

Like a comet, this band don’t come around too often. Even when the namesake singer and her gang cut an LP, it takes a while to gauge its standing among one of the most rarefied and refined pop catalogues. But while Sade have swayed from muzak to menacing Massive Attack territory, by and large you know what you’re going to get: sultry, seductive somnambulance and several other adjectives that start with the letter s.

On Soldier of Love, the band’s first album in a decade, British-Nigerian singer Sade Adu ever-so-slightly shifts emphasis from ineffable ennui to common sadness. Album highlights ‘Skin’ and ‘The Moon and the Sky’ rise above the neo-soul sheen provided by her long-time team of smooth operators. But barely.

Tastefully restrained almost to a fault, the English quartet rarely release the reins. One sometimes wishes for more left turns such as the martial hip-hop stomp of the title track. But the 51-year-old singer has another objective: breaking your heart under the pretence of mellowing your mood.
Joshua Klein
Available now in stores.

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