Customer Reviews: Soldier of Love
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on February 17, 2010
Maybe it's the lack of musicality and depth in today's music that makes this album see light years ahead of anything released recently. I will admit to being a life long fan, but I don't believe you can question what Sade brings to the music world.

I've listened to this release in it's entirety since it was available.. played it in the car, in the Ipod and on the home theater to make sure I heard everything that could be heard. And I can say confidently that this another in a long series of great music. It's not Diamond Life or Lovers Rock, but it can't be - this is Sade after nearly 30 years of making music on their terms. And I think that's the key - how many artists in today's music scene can tell their label - You'll get the music when I'm ready to give it to you.

I think the other thing to note here, in most of the reviews this album is being compared to their other albums. Which could suggest that they have very few peers - we are comparing Sade to Sade. Each of the albums sticks out for a specific reason, you were going through something and that album was a comfort during that time. So judging Soldier of Love against Pride or Love Deluxe almost seems a waste. You have to take this album in this space today...

Now for the album

The album flows well, each song into the next. You can press play and walk away, no need to skip songs or pick and choose. Immediate standouts are "Moon & the Sky", "Be that easy", "Morning Bird".

"In Another time" in my opinion is one of the best arrangements I've heard since "Is it a Crime". The vocals, the melody - the placement of the piano, the strings along with the sax and bass build this song in a way - that most artists would want to study. This is what music is supposed to sound like. And the lyrics - she could be singing to any of the young and upcoming R&B singers, explaining how in time - it will fall in place. There are a few songs that require a patient ear, but that's good - if you've ever listened to Coltrane you know that patience is usually rewarded in a major way.

The title track is brilliant in the same way "Cherish" or "Flow" were brilliant. You can hear the band expirementing in sounds that aren't typical for them and yet it comes off almost effortless. I won't bother to compare this album to any other albums released by R&B singers recently ( if Anita Baker decides to release an album than we can compare ) - it does no one any justice, but it does highlight what is missing... music that's made for the express purpose of being good and a pleasure to hear. Not to satisfy contractual obligations or build a big enough buzz to get endorsement deals.

You could be disappointed in this ablum, but that would likely mean that you had a specific sound in your head and were thrown when you didn't hear it. I'm convinced this album will continue in the same tradition as her entire catalogue, it will go on for decades bringing smiles and tears to millions of folks. And isn't that what we expect from our music?
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on February 11, 2010
I have been looking forward to this release for a long time now and it was worth the wait. Sade has come along way in her song writing abilities and it shows on each new release. While some may prefer some of her earlier work because its a bit more 'catchy', it now sometimes sounds a bit artificial/synthetic in style and arrangement compared to her recent releases. Her lyrics in her last two albums have a deeper message in my opinion. As for the music, I love how this lady can incorporate DEEP bass into her music - no one does it better in my opinion. This album may not appeal for those fans still stuck in the past but Soldier Of Love is still a five star album.
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on February 9, 2010
So glad to see another release from Sade...hard to believe that I have new music by her on my ipod after 10 years. After Lovers Rock I was hoping her next album would shy away from the heavy handed percussive 'time keeping' that ran through many of the tracks. That said my favorite Sade songs deal with love, such as 'Stronger Than Pride' and 'Like A Tattoo' so I was also hoping for a few slow burn ballads about love and heartache. The production on this album is much lighter here and "In Another Time' is wonderful there is even some great sax work and the album ends with 'The Safest Place' which will remind you of 'Pearls'-- my only criticism would be the lyrics--sometimes they dont reveal as much as you would like them to and that this is not the romantic follow up to Love Deluxe that I have waited for, but still enjoyable and I am happy that we finally have new music.
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on February 9, 2010
Hands up all those who know what Sade has been up to the last few years! I thought so, very few. The British/Nigerian chanteuse keeps well out of the public eye when there isn't an album to plug. Not for her the splling out of cars sans underwear, hanging with toy boys, or trapsaising all over town clad in next to nothing like most of her peers do to court the press, yet she still shifts millions of units; look and learn guys!

It's been some ten years since the last album, "Lovers Rock", and Sade returns looking and sounding as though all those years never went by with "Soldier of love" comprising ten elegant tracks, impeccably produced.

Opening is "The moon and the sky" with deep bass, lashings of guitar and sprinklings of Spain, followed by the menacing title track with crunching martial beats and lyrics about being "In the frontline of this battle of mine", using warfare as a metaphor for the vagaries of love. Sounding world-weary, this is the album's most upbeat moment, almost Trip Hop.

"Morning bird" has a beautiful minute-long intro, leading to a haunting ballad with mournful cello and muted piano. "Babyfather" is a rollicking Reggae-ish bass/brass heavy song with Sade's daughter Ila Adu on additional vocals, and lyrics that may or may not be about Ila's father and his love for her. Such is the mystique.

One of the briefest songs, "Long hard road", is also one of the album's best moments. Beautiful guitars, weeping cello, and a longing and heartfelt delivery in those famous dusky tones.

"Be that easy" is a delicate organ-driven Country-tinged ballad with whistled coda, while "Bring me home" with clipped beats and haunting harmonies also recalls (like the title track) Trip Hop by acts like Tricky or Portishead. In fact, she has largely drifted from the horn-rich Jazzy sound of earlier songs like "Your love is king", "Is it a crime", or "Smooth operator" for a darker more acoustic sound.

The Jazziest moment comes on the languid horn-flecked "In another time" which also boasts robust string solos, a stirring sax solo, and the cautionary lyrics to Ila "You'll be surprised, girl, Soon they'll mean nothing to you".

Recalling songs like "Flow" or "No ordinary love" is "Skin" on which she is ready to "wash you off my skin, I'm going to peel you away..." (and name checks Michael Jackson to boot) set to a groovy Reggae-tinged bassline and steel guitars.

Closing is "The safest place", a spectacular string-swathed guitar piece with reverbing effects in which she offers her heart as a cocoon of safety and love. This reminds me a bit of her "Pearls" (which just won a Grammy for India.Arie, by the way).

The music scene may have seen numerous fads come and go in the past decade, but you wouldn't know it listening to this. Sounding as usual like no one else out there, here's hoping the wait for the next album from the band won't be as long. Already a strong contender for album of the year.
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on February 15, 2010
In a day and age when you turn on the radio and hear some of the most untalented people you've never heard of, it is so refreshing to hear some real music. This is what Sade does. They always give real music. The songs are slow, yes, but they all have a story behind them. This is nice and mellow music. The songs are wonderful. "In Another Time" is gorgeous. I love that song. Same with "The Moon and the Sky". " Skin" is a good track with a nice groove and a nice MJ reference in it. If you are a Sade fan, this is a good CD. If you are new to Sade, this is still a good CD. Try it and you will see. Plus Sade's voice is still as exotic and sexy as ever.
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on February 11, 2010
This is an excellent piece of work, so far my favorite is "The Moon and Sky." Listen to these tracks in the following order and you get a short story, Long Hard Road, Bring Me Home, The Safest Place, and Soldier of Love. Sade, Andrew, Stuart, and Paul have presented the world with beautiful music and poetic lyrics that touch the soul.
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on February 16, 2010
The first CD that I purchased in more than 2 years. I wanted the CD, instead of MP3s, for its sound quality. I am glad that I did. Like all Sade's albums, with each listen, you can find some more subtle textures and nuances. Clean and elegant productions. It does not wear off after repeated listening.
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The space and time between this and Sade's previous album Lovers Rock the world changed in the most unexpected of ways. As with much of life the music world has come into something of a standstill,especially when it comes to the R&B world. It's come to the point where,at least in my case where I find myself on mission trying to find significant elements in music probably more created to sell than inspire. Well I don't mind-it's a worthy mission that sometimes unearths hidden intentions sometimes. But it's also a big relief to be able to tell people that an album is just really a good choice for music lovers. True this is an album I've been anticipating long before I knew it was coming out. That aside this album not only matched my expectations but in a lot of ways exceeded it. Sade has been known for a timeless sound as the review implied and that in a word is one of the reasons I was so looking forward to this. The title song of this album was an early reason for peaking my interest. It's a darly romantic slice of Sade style smooth funk that has a little more drama with it's use of some orchestral fanfares and the like and contains perfect metaphores for the themes of this album. Not only is Sade herself "in the wild,wild west doing her best" (this isn't the first time that's been said of course) but also "lost the use of her heart but is still alive". Not only does that show the bands musically and lyrically poetic flavors have not in any way abandoned them but also that their aware of how much contemporary life and thinking has effected music around them as well. There is a similar flavor on "The Moon In The Sky","Long Hard Road","Bring Me Home" and "Skin". The music on these songs is by no means as stripped down as what was on the previous album but the condundrum of worldweary romanticism has been stepped up a notch here and it goes well with the times it's recorded in.. "Babyfather" is another great example of that-a very bright caribbean flavored groove is married to a lyrical reflection on paternity. "Be That Easy" and "In Another Time" have a musical styling fairly new to Sade;an extention on American country/gospel style ballad that doesn't bare a resemblence to the jazzier styles that they've been known for and that are here as well on "Morning Bird" and "The Safest Place". The latter song again extends on the theme of the title song;an adult outlook on life and romance comparing the concepts with mature age to seeking safety during battle. Sade albums have the distinction of being both funky to a high degree and very pensive. That mixture could be very cold in the wrong hands but somehow this ends up being a band that have been able to channel that concept into a sound that's both sensual and relaxing. And if I may say so it's good to hear new music from them again.
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This is my first CD by Sade. I have heard snippets of her music, but for whatever reason never dived in. So I approach this music with a fresh ear. The opener "The Moon & the Sky" floors me! Sade's vocals are expressive as the melody snakes seductively, "You left me there dying, but you'll never let me go." "Morning Bird" is another track that catches my ear. It's a eulogy with the stark piano & Sade's voice melancholy, "There's nowhere I can find peace & the silence won't cease." "In Another Time" is a lovely slow song with Stuart Matthewman's sax spicing the mix. Other tracks like "Babyfather" & "The Safest Place" are also gems. Enjoy!
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on February 11, 2010
One of my favorite artist ever and so I expect alot. If this wasnt Sade, I would rate this album 2 stars. A couple quality songs, however, whats up with the drum machine? In addition, way too many harmonies. Her voice is still too good to have someone else tainting it in the background. Gone are the days that you grab your chick, put her new album in, and simply press play. This album would be acceptable if the 10 year absence was only a 2 year one.
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