Review Summary: Sade's masterpiece. A journey into another dimension.Sade: The Band and the Woman
Part IV: Love Deluxe
"This is no ordinary love
No ordinary love"
With this epic opener ("No Ordinary Love"), we wade into Sade's best album. There is, indeed, a watery feeling to the music, as if you were at the bottom of an ocean of synth work, basslines, Sade's extraordinary voice, etc. When compared to Sade's first three efforts, it differs greatly from those in terms of sound (subject matter is, for all intents and purposes, the same). Here, a more captivating ambience is generated for the listener. In other words, prepare for a trip into another dimension.
Sade's debut had seen the band show off their love of jazz, albeit with pop sensibilities. The sophomore effort had less poppyness to it, and had a far more introspective vibe. Their third album experimented heavily with funk and world music. But, quite simply, as excellent as those records are, they don't captivate the listener the way this does.
"Feel No Pain" is an oddity in Sade's catalog. Here, she tackles the issue of dealing with unemployment. The song features use of percussion that is somewhat reminiscent of Stronger Than Pride
. "Kiss of Life", features some nice use of the piano, bass work, and funky beats. Obviously, the lyrics deal with romance. But, it must be said, it is a downright beautiful song.
"Cherish the Day" has a well-made intro: a guitar comes accompanied by pop-hooks which lead us to Sade's voice. After the first chorus, we can hear the bass grooves, which fit in perfectly. Near the end, the synths add to the ambience, making for an entrancing experience. The closer, "Bullet Proof Soul", has great trumpet work, piano parts, and beats similar to those mentioned earlier. Sade shows great charm when when she sings "You kept on thinking, you were the only one. Too busy thinking, love is a gun", accentuating the last three words effectively.
This album could be compared to Seal's Seal II
in terms of atmosphere: that album has a similarly hypnotic feel, although Seal incorporated more rock elements than Sade. This album feels more soothing and relaxing however (not necessarily better), and might suit those in the mood for such music somewhat better than Seal II
(that album might serve best for getting a dosage of inspiration and introspection).
One of the only problems a listener might find here is that the lyrics focus on romance for the most part. Again, it all comes down to whether or not the listener has gripes with that. Another is that the beats used on some of the songs are similar to each other, which might bother others. But, having said that, this is Sade's masterpiece, and she will never do an album the likes of this again.