Her first studio recording in a decade— and third comeback—shows Nigerian- British chanteuse Sade Adu still has the stuff. The danceable hip-hop-inflected title track thaws Sade’s ultra-cool, ice- princess image and already has carried this disc to the top of the pop charts. Sade wrote two of the CD’s tracks and co-wrote the rest with longtime writing partner and multi-instrumentalist Stuart Matthewman.
After all these years, the seemingly ageless 51-year-old songstress has retained her model good looks, but added emotional depth to her lyrics and range to her sensual vocals. As the album’s title suggests, love’s travails run throughout the CD. Heartache informs most of these songs, especially the bitter “The Moon and the Sky,” the biting “Bring Me Home,” and the benumbed “Long Hard Road.” The one exception to these pained meditations on a lonely heart is the sweet “Babyfather,” about the redemptive nature of love.
This isn’t Sade’s best, but fans won’t be disappointed and the disc underscores the remarkable longevity of a sophisticated pop singer whom many critics wrote off after her hit-heavy debut, 1984’s Diamond Life, skyrocketed up the pop charts. Who ever thought Sade would be back on top of the charts and riding a 25-year career? File under: Soul Survivor.