Her debut album "Diamond Life" hit the Top Ten charts in 1984 in the UK, and, in 1986, Sade won a Grammy in the "Best New Artist" category. She has a spate of Top Ten singles to her credit, like "Hang On To Your Love", "Smooth Operator", "The Sweetest Taboo" and "Is It A Crime" among others.
"Lovers Rock" has been released by the artist after almost eight years of silence and contains music that does not force the pace. Quiet and gentle, Sade's low, comforting voice washes over you, pulling you into her world of emotions.
"By Your Side" reinforces the need for love and support in times of need, while "King Of Sorrow" sings about a break-up that leaves the singer-persona devastated. "Slave Song" is haunting; with its steady Congo tribal beat off a single drum, it outlines the dark history of the African slaves, highlighting their endurance and courage in the darkest period of their lives. "Immigrant" talks about the experience of blacks in America; made poignant through understatement, its theme is discrimination against blacks. "The Sweetest Gift" is another track with a cause - it has been dedicated by the singer to the Rainbow Trust Children's Charity for terminally ill children. "Flow" and "All About Our Love" are love songs, along with the title track that has a groovy beat.
The album concludes with "It's Only Love That Gets You Through"; the tone of the song resembles a funereal address where the strength and dignity of a woman (who is representative of any poor black woman) shines through in the face of fiscal paucity and hardships .
A common feature to Sade's songs is the minimalist musical accompaniment. This serves to enhance the effect of the insistent vocals and shows a keen understanding of the musical instruments that have been manipulated to achieve the desired effect.
Sade's music is pleasantly soporific and is best enjoyed in solitude by the sensitive music lover.This article was first published on 27 Dec 2000.