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We Miss Sade!

Blog > We Miss Sade!

Written by Jeremy Hallock

Posted September 24, 2019

After releasing a sixth studio album in 2010 and touring, this English band named after their singer went on hiatus for the third time in their career. Last year, the reunited band released two new songs for film soundtracks and confirmed that a seventh album is on the way. But now a year has passed and there is still no release date. We can’t tell you how long we have been Sade fans without revealing how old we are, but we have no ordinary love for this band. We are getting antsy waiting for more songs that are smooth, elegant, and artfully arranged. But in the spirit of appreciating what the band has given us so far, we are listening to our Sade records today.

Diamond Life (1984)

Thirty-five years ago, we had never heard anything quite like the blooming alto of Sade Adu before and this is sophisticated pop music with elements of soul and jazz. Instantly likeable singles like “Your Love is King” and “Smooth Operator” are disarmingly romantic. The lyrics are surprisingly gritty and mostly about love. Adu’s heart is firmly on her sleeve. This debut album was recorded in just six weeks, but it spawned four hit singles. Selling millions of copies and garnering rave reviews, Diamond Life was an enormous commercial and critical success. It also made Adu a superstar pop diva and fashion icon.

Promise (1985)

There was no sophomore slump for Sade. Their second album had three singles, including one of their most loved songs, “The Sweetest Taboo.” The band’s popularity continued to grow and they were starting to appeal to all sorts of different audiences as they showed up on several charts including top forty radio, R&B, adult contemporary, and dance. It was also Sade’s first album to reach number one in the US. The songs are still mostly about love, but tracks like “Tar Baby” and “Jezebel” address serious social issues.

Stronger Than Pride (1988)

Now thirty years old, Sade’s third album features edgier vocals from Adu and it is perhaps their biggest contribution to ’80s R&B. In between albums, Adu tried acting. But she became even more mysterious after developing a penchant for seclusion and that is conveyed in many of these songs. Stronger Than Pride was not the band’s most successful album, but it is now regarded as one of their best. “Give It Up” has incredible percussion, “Paradise” has a catchy bassline, and “Siempre Hay Esperanza” closes the album with Latin funk. For the next few years, these sounds had an enormous influence on contemporary R&B.

Love Deluxe (1992)

Stepping into the ’90s, Sade returned with their fourth album after a four-year absence. From this point forward, the band releases only one album per decade. Love Deluxe features one of their biggest hits, “No Ordinary Love,” and was a huge commercial success, but reviews were mixed. But this cool and detached vibe has aged well. And with tales of desire and heartbreak, it is one of Sade’s most emotional efforts. It also introduces a much more ambient sound with less percussion, Flamenco guitar, and a hip-hop influence. Songs like “Pearls” and “Like a Tattoo” seem much more experimental and less structured than anything we had heard from the band before.

Lovers Rock (2000)

Eight years later, Sade returned with an album titled after the reggae Adu listened to as a child. The band seems old, wiser, and more contemplative exploring themes of faith, grief, and perseverance. The Jamaican influence is prominent in these songs, especially “All About Our Love,” “Every Word,” the title track, and “Slave Song.” The production here is simpler, often centered around acoustic guitar like folk music.

Soldier Of Love (2010)

On their most recent album, Adu’s voice sounds stronger and more confident than ever. This is some of their moodiest music, especially the title track. For once, Sade made an album that doesn’t necessarily belong on the adult contemporary charts. This is mainly a soul album, but it also incorporates most of the other sounds the band is known for. And the addition of beats and dub-esque snare crashes surprised some longtime listeners.