Sade seems to be only slightly more productive than Kate Bush, but Soldier of Love is a really promising taste of her/their first album since 2000’s Lover’s Rock. Whereas By Your Side, one of my all time favourite songs, carried a beautifully soft sentiment of compassion and loyalty (complemented by Sophie Muller’s perfectly judged clip), Soldier of Love lays its cards on the table from the opening lyric: “I’ve lost the use of my heart but I’m still alive”. Yikes. The arrangement has a real bite to it, and while the metaphors verge on the trite, there’s at least a real honesty to their sentiment. Not sure if I’m according things with more artistry than strictly present — it’s hard not to confuse Sade’s beauty and presence with the actual work. Indeed, shocking that she’s now 51. Shows one can age gracefully even without giant cheek-orbs and filler.
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