SADE (HELEN FOLASADE ADU) — Love Deluxe (review)

SADE (HELEN FOLASADE ADU) — Love Deluxe album cover Album · 1992 · RnB Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Matti P
The ratings of SADE albums seem to go a slight downfall, ie. the debut Diamond Life (1984) is the highest rated, and each later album scores a bit lower than the preceding one. Sade's biggest hits -- 'Smooth Operator', 'Your Love is King' etc -- indeed came early in the career. Love Deluxe is the band's fourth album. I deliberately speak of the British band, even though Sade can also refer to the gorgeous, Nigerian-born singer Sade Adu, as it undoubtedly does in the wide public. But practically it was a group effort. The songs were mainly composed together by Adu, saxophonist-guitarist Stuart Matthewman, keyboardist Andrew Hale and, to a lesser degree, bassist Paul Spencer Denman.

While the third album Stronger Than Pride (1988) had a bit more edge, Love Deluxe returns to the soft and sensitive coolness, and does it very pleasantly in my opinion. The opener 'No Ordinary Love' was the lead single released one month prior the album. I love its hypnotic and slightly melancholic atmosphere.

Sonically, songs such as 'Feel the Pain' and 'I Couldn't Love You More' come a bit closer to the bulk of r'n'b balladry, with a sticky beat I've never enjoyed. But Sade Adu's lovely voice easily lifts anything above the rest of the genre. The slow, spatial and dreamy 'Like a Tattoo' arrives just in time. Shivers!

The bright-toned 'Kiss of Life', the third single, is an enjoyable, solid Sade number. 'Cherish the Day' is again of the more average r'n'b stuff and continues on the thoroughly familiar path. The slow-tempo Adu-Hale composition 'Pearls' features an orchestral arrangement and is among the highligths. 'Bullet Proof Soul' has nice piano and rather cheesy sax. Instrumental (!) closing track 'Mermaid' paints an exotic, oceanic view.

This album may not quite be on the high level of the two first albums but is nevertheless essential for any fan who wants some more of the ear-candy.
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