Soldier Of Love (Sony/Epic)
Even back in 1984, Sade always sounded more mature than the vast majority of radio R&B. Beautiful vocalist and band namesake Sade Adu shunned octave-jumping athleticism for quiet restraint, and her band always favoured their own rock-solid mellow grooves over imitations of momentary trends. However, unlike most adult contemporary soul, Sade’s music somehow managed to embody an elusive coolness that’s helped their catalogue age remarkably well.
When you’re not trying to stay in fashion, you can concentrate on doing one thing extremely well and not worry that people will find it dated. Sure, the production on Soldier Of Love sounds a bit tougher and chunkier than the band’s early work, but the classic Sade vibe we love is still front and centre.
Waiting 10 years between albums usually means a crisis in confidence. In this case, it seems to have been the opposite – they’ve got nothing to prove, so they can just relax and take their time.
Top track: Soldier Of Love