Friday, January 15, 2010
Sade 'Soldier Of Love' Album Preview
Sade - 'Soldier Of Love' on Epic Records arrives February 9.
courtesy of Showing Out
The Moon and The Sky
The album kicks off with a thick, syrupy groove, playing almost like a classic mid-’90s R&B jam as theremin quivers and rich drum hits glide along. “You always know the reason why this love / We couldn’t have the moon and the sky / You always know the reason why / Reason why this love ain’t gon’ let,” Sade sings on the chorus before the song snaps into a breakdown where the rhythm flows into double-time speed. Classic Sade, and a lovely way to kick off the album.
Soldier of Love
The eponymous lead single, “Soldier of Love” fits snugly in context with the rest of the album here, spread out over a bold six minutes. With its militaristic snares and electrified guitar flares, the track sees the group stretching their sound across an epic sonic landscape, moving from quiet moments of Western solace to inspirational bursts of ebullience. Lush and bountiful, “Soldier of Love” is everything and more that the world has come to expect from the band.
After the drums die out and order is reestablished, “Morning Bird” begins with its gentle strings and haunting piano melody, with the strings disappearing and leaving the keys on their lonesome. That is, of course, until a kick drum and tambourine whir into rhythm. “How could you?” Sade moans on the chorus. “You are the river / Out of this life / How could you? / You are the morning bird who sang me into life / Fly away.” Soon, she kicks her vocal melody up an octave, but it doesn’t last long - the song wraps up quicker than most on Soldier of Love.
Arguably one of the best songs on the album, “Babyfather” is much sunnier and optimistic than its companions. With spindly guitars, chalky hip-hop drums and layers of bright vocals, the song coasts on a sandy electric guitar melody that leads into a warm, fleshy chorus. “Your daddy knows you’re a fling,” Sade repeats before a chorus of Jamaican-inflected vox echo her words. Simply luscious.
Long Hard Road
The band adds a little shade to the mix on the dusky “Long Hard Road,” with ominous acoustic guitar strums setting off this deliberate tune. “There’s a long hard road ahead / But the voices heard me said / Said there’s something more that you need to know / It’s gonna be alright,” Sade sings over swelling strings, complete with an epic, voluptuous chorus accented by delicate strings. The minor arpeggios plucked on the guitar add a nice tone to the tune.
Be That Easy
Sade brightens the mood once more on the country-inflected “Be That Easy,” with slide guitars, crisp acoustic guitar and a soft, feathery ride cymbal coalescing as dual vocal lines float over the instrumental confection. “Full of it / Sun on my face, wind in my hair / Falling down / Flying as low as I can / I’m not trying to reach land,” she sings after the song peaks with a musical epiphany.
Bring Me Home
The group slips into an acid house drum rhythm on “Bring Me Home” where mournful undertones give way to a bolder full-bodied jam. “So bring me home,” Sade sings as voices spookily howl in succession. “So let the tide take me / I won’t fight / I’ve cried the tears,” she adds before a bridge of hollow, barren instrumentation takes over. Heavy stuff.
In Another Time
This one played like more of a coaxed groove, adopting conventions of ’50s pop and vaguely resembling a prom ballad. As hollow rim shots and a silky chord progression carry the tune, Sade’s seductive vocals complement the billowing, pulsating groove, accented by a juicy saxophone that echoes the triage of vocal lines that top the mix. “You’re so tired of waiting / For something to change / They don’t know what to do / With something so good / You wouldn’t hurt them / Hurt them if you could,” Sade howls as her voice meets the saxophone in an explosion of sound.
This sensual, corporeal groove lives up to its name, playing as the lounge-friendliest of the bunch. “Now as I begin to wash you off my skin / I want to peel you away / ‘Cause you’re not right within,” Sade sings, scorning a rejected lover. “I love you so / Sometimes love has to let go,” she adds, sounding unsurprisingly vulnerable for a song where she’s literally shedding her skin.
The Safest Place
The album ends with the drum-less “The Safest Place,” kicking off with feedback that gives way to soft acoustic guitar plucks and swelling strings. “In your heart / Your heart has found / The safest hiding place,” she sings. “My heart has been a lonely warrior,” she adds as a cello creeps into the underbrush of the track. “Inside is a stream / Around is a wall / No one from hell could break / In there will shine / Heaven’s light,” she finally crows in her hushed alto, ending the album on a subtle yet powerful note.