Helen Folasade Adu, otherwise known as Sade, is a singer with talent. Originally from the USA, she shifted to the UK when younger and got involved in fashion and music, the latter being especially important to her. This is her debut album and by all means, was worth it, she very nearly didn’t make it, being rejected initially by her future band and by many record companies. Their efforts did not go to waste once signed and they began pioneering a new form of music that was not strictly tied down to any genre. Let’s take a listen to this album, which should be interesting listening.
We launch with the key track Smooth Operator. It begins with some awesome bongos and percussion before a smooth, Funky bassline enters. It is quickly followed by saxophone and a set of lyrics indicating a story about a playboy who has it all and who risks losing that. Sade’s voice is beautiful and deep, she sings quite unlike anyone else in the history of music. A really awesome and catchy piece of music, it is a very excellent and top-class piece of music. It sounds really cool and enjoyable, Sade is a real storyteller, backed up by an awesome band and set of crafted music. The saxophone solo here is really beautiful and will bring a smile to your face. A fine piece of artistry, Sade exceeds expectations wonderfully. This one does deserve repeat listens, a great and instant classic. Fine music here, without a doubt.
Next up is the most popular song from the album Your Love Is King. It begins with pleasant saxophone, keyboards and a very sexual, sensual feeling from this tune. This is another excellent song that reaches beyond expectations and does the job. It’s about giving it all to a partner in desire and love/lust. Really fine and excellent music, Sade sings well and the music here doesn’t sound anything at all like the rest of the 1980s mainstream music of the time. A fantastic saxophone solo emerges before Sade returns to conquer all with love. This is wedding day material, it sounds really amazing. Great job Sade and friends, this is a timeless and excellent song.
Hang On To Your Love – Long Version has a driving deep bassline, piano and other excellent sounds from the percussion section. Some funky Fender Stratocaster sounds are within it. The lyrics here are about troubled love emotions and relationship issues. This piece is about making it through the storm of love, so to speak. Although these songs are basic around love topics, they are red hot on fire to listen to. One could never imagine the likes of someone like Cardi B, for example, to make this sort of music. A genuinely great song, there is an electric piano keyboard solo followed by a clean, funky guitar part. Another amazing piece by Sade, this sounds uplifting and wonderful. Great music and a really fresh, original take on musical trends and history itself. Very well constructed and put together, this is an awesome listen. The delayed vocals make up the last part of the song, which sound cool.
Frankie’s First Affair begins with great saxophone, some intricate musical sections and launches quickly into a story about said subject matter in the song title. With divorces escalating in regularity these days, this song makes perfect sense to listen to. Bongo beats and a piano plays along nicely with this warped story of recklessness and humiliation, sung by Sade. It is very intense listening about having an affair which has bad implications for Frankie. It quickly launches into a saxophone solo and piano that is irresistible listening. Great song regardless, this has a wonderful, sleazy and (yes, even) sexual feel to this song. A really fine piece of music, and great to listen to from start to finish. Very well constructed and executed tune.
Next is When Am I Going to Make a Living which is a statement many people wish that they knew the answer to. The song itself is a bit more upbeat, with the excellent pseudo-Jazz band touches to the song. A really adventurous and lively listening experience, this sounds really awesome. Even for a lesser track, this sounds fresh and fabulous. There are some awesome wah-wah/flanger guitar parts in the chorus that any guitarist should pay attention to. The song itself is more textural than lyrical but sounds really nicely delivered and is great listening, especially at home with a beloved partner. Nice work.
Following is Cherry Pie which begins with hi-hats, expertly played basslines and wah-wah guitar that sounds intricate. It is the longest piece on this album but is light years ahead of every other sound and style that had been done by 1984. Without warning, it launches into an excellent song that has Sade singing about more troubled romance issues. Perhaps the Burt Bacharach of the mid-1980s (at least lyrically), Sade delivers really beautiful vocals over the top of a great musical section. A very wonderful and gorgeous song that sounds really well, particularly in the bridge section with Sade’s singing, one can be easily impressed by the music at hand. A really great mixture of upbeat and original music with some lost and brokenhearted lyrics, this is really a fantastic and genuinely great listen. This is an album that should not be ignored for the musical quality here and sounds great. Sade and company put in 100% to deliver this music wonderfully. Nice and consistent effort, terrific work.
Sally begins with more sensual saxophone, deep bass guitar playing and excellent keyboards. Sade begins singing about a lady who is involved in a lot of relationships. In any case, the song itself is beautiful and dramatic musically. Much effort and energy have been put into this music, with the bass guitar playing along with this piece really well. A nice and genuinely good listen, this sounds really top. It is a rather dark piece of music, especially lyrically, but light comes via the saxophone solo on this song. A really top and nicely made Pop music piece that is genre-busting, this is a gloriously good piece of music. Another great song, and enjoyable listening.
I Will Be Your Friend comes next and launches straight into keyboards, saxophone parts and harmonies. The piece then gets grooving away nicely and we have another excellent song. It is about mending broken hearts with music and intention. A really top and excellent sounding piece, this song is powerful with both intent and emotion. Really fine listening, it is a great and positive piece of music that blows away a lot of the Synth Pop of the time. Catchy, with some interesting percussion, this song is another classic piece from Sade. A really nice listen, this is superb artistry and wonder. A little repetitive, but that is perfectly forgivable upon listening. It’s a lovely song, and nothing can take that away about it.
Last on this album is Why Can’t We Live Together which has some stereo panned bongos, to begin with, which sound bang on with rhythm. This is followed by bass guitar and muted electric guitar. Organ sounding keyboard enters, and this piece gradually builds up nicely. A very beautiful piece of music, this is a very relaxing listen. The instrumental section continues along nicely before Sade gets singing very well over the top of it all. A really intense and pretty sounding song, it is about the concept of living nicely with a lover for a lifetime. Some anti-racism lyrics are here, which is a very good observation about the concept of love itself. Love comes in many different ways. There are some heavy wah-wah Fender Stratocaster licks, amongst some other interesting sounds throughout. A lovely and intricate piece of music, and a fine finish to a great album.
This is an instant classic upon hearing that is so good that one must hear it in repeat listens and it breaks down stereotypes of music and social norms that people may have had prior to this album. A great album, full credit goes to Sade for persisting with music that made her and her group stars. A grand mixture of Soul, RnB, Pop, Jazz and wah-wah guitar. This is one of the best albums of the 1980s, without a doubt.
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