Named after their lead singer Helen Folasade "Sade" Adu, the R&B group Sade released their anticipated sixth record Soldier of Love in early February 2010. It was the band's first album of original material since 2000's Lovers Rock and it was also the first time the band debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. It went to #1 in several other countries and was certified platinum in the US. Let's take a closer look at the award-winning record.
The album starts with the unusually aggressive "The Moon and the Sky," whose guitar lick keeps the listener attention for over four minutes as Sade sings of bruising and confusion. The title track won the Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and was ranked #3 on Rolling Stone's list of the 50 Best Songs of 2010, but good luck deciphering the video. The arrangements get sparse for "Morning Bird," with a very simple piano motif leading the way. That's certainly a way to show desolation. The second single off the record is "Babyfather" and even though it shows how great it is to be a parent, one can't help but make comparisons to B-Rock and the Biz.
Juan Janes shows his guitar skills on "Long Hard Road" while "Be That Easy" combines a lazy cowboy-song beat with bleak, depressing lyrics. There is a heavy influence of Arabian music in "Bring Me Home," which also includes a rolling trip-hop groove. Possibly the elegant Gospel song, "In Another Time" uses the call-and-response technique as lightly as possible. There is a mini-tribute to Michael Jackson in "Skin," thanks to its heartbeat steady rhythm and the shortest song on the record is the closer "The Safest Place."