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Sade

Lovers Rock  Hear it Now

RS: 3.5of 5 Stars Average User Rating: 3.5of 5 Stars

2000

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Sade is no dummy. She knows what she's good at: slow, mellow ballads in the soft Anglo-soul style, decorated with her luxuriantly morose voice. She didn't spend the Nineties frittering away her mystique by trying trip-hop or speed garage; all she ever does is make Sade records. Lovers Rock is her first in eight years, and guess what -- it sounds exactly like Sade, heavily influenced by Diamond Life with a bit of Love Deluxe thrown in. Needless to say, it's also pretty damn good, because this smooth operator shrewdly sticks to the tricks she'd already mastered before turning pro. Imagine how insufferable she'd be at anything else. On Lovers Rock, the groove is light, the voice is chilly and the songs change titles every five minutes or so, although nobody told the drummer. A few stand out on their own, like "Every Word" and "King of Sorrow," but individual songs aren't the point with Sade, despite such enduring flukes of soul brilliance as "Your Love Is King" in 1985 and "Kiss of Life" in 1992. The point is that amazingly languid, permanently post-coital voice: the woman sounds like she had one big cosmic orgasm twenty years ago and has been recovering ever since. All she does is catch her breath over the groove, with a few slight reggae flourishes to justify the album's title. Even fans won't notice that "The Sweetest Gift" isn't the same song as "The Sweetest Taboo," but we stopped worrying about that years ago: Dim the lights and let Sade be Sade. (RS 854)

ROB SHEFFIELD



(Posted: Nov 9, 2000)

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