It has always been hard for me to find music that truly stands out as something special but I found one that really struck me just the right way. I heard of the artist Sade only a few days ago while on a business flight to Florida. A gentleman sitting next to me with his headphones on was just as happy as can be with this musical tune playing loud enough for me to hear. I could not help myself but ask what it was. Well, low and behold it was Sade’s new CD called Solder of Love.
According to Sade’s website this is only the sixth studio album released by the band in 25 years of recording. As she says “I only make records when I feel I have something to say. I’m not interested in releasing music just for the sake of selling something. Sade is not a brand” After listening to her new album, I feel this attitude of not compromising is truly portrayed. I have always felt that a true sign of a good new CD is if I can hit PLAY from start to end and not find one I had to skip past. This CD is just such an occasion.
One of my favorite songs on the CD is track 8, “In Another Time”, which not only portrays a soothing clear voice but also gives you a sense of great elegance and vocal control. Smooth as can be with just the right beat to follow. You get such a relaxed presentation out of this song and her voice, as graceful as it is, you still get the feeling that she is in control the entire time. At 03:14, you get this great guitar introduction that flows into a romantic violin that just simply makes you drift away in happiness.
Another great song on the CD is track 2, the title track “Soldier of Love”. The song starts out playing almost “Taps” from a military funeral by a trumpet but then the drums start in still giving you the military feeling off a drill Sergeant telling you to get down and give him twenty pushups. Her voice is not as smooth or soothing as later in the CD. This is bold and commanding, showing her lower octave vocal control. At around 01:40 you get a great mix of Sade’s vocal and a strong group of backup singers chiming in. As the song progresses you continue to get a wide variety of vocal ranges. Growing up in an all-military family, the contrast of her fight for love back dropped over a rocking “Taps” routine just screams cool to me. As you listen to this song, you get such great three-dimensional presentation that you can easily pick out musicians’ positions in your room. This is a not-to-miss song.
I must admit that there have been times that I have purchased a CD based on just a single track and after listening to the song I would not think twice. To say that I am impressed by this musician is an understatement since she only became the great vocalist we know today by sheer chance. Sade, believe it or not, went to school for fashion and only after getting asked to sing with two old school friends did she start her musical career. In 1984, Sade signed on to Epic records launching her musical career; after 26 years of making music Sade is still going strong and from the sounds of it only getting better!
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