Album #534 – Diamond Life
Sade is a band that named themselves after their lead singer, Sade Adu. They took the music world by storm in 1984 and 1985. Sade’s voice is unmistakable. Smooth, sweet and soft. It is soothing and calm, quite the opposite from many of the pop singers of the time. The group’s music mixed jazz with r&b and soul. Many have labeled it Quiet Storm, after the soft r&b radio format. It is also called sophistipop, a genre of mid to late 80’s British pop mixing jazz and soul influences. But, Sade had something special. Their music was laid back, not forceful. Take the album’s biggest hit Smooth Operator, for example. It was the type of song you would hear in a quiet jazz club on a Sunday night, never mind on MTV or MuchMusic along side Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince and Cyndi Lauper. The song did well and cracked the top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sade is another example of why the 80’s were so good musically: risks were taken. The group seemed to fit in well with the style of the 80’s: sophisticated yet unique. Today, an artist like Sade would not have a chance on radio in North America. The band would be pigeon-holed. But, as much as times have changed, the sound of Sade has always remained timeless. Other highlights include: Your Love Is King, Hang on to Your Love and Why Can’t We Live Together. Overall, I give Diamond Life, 3.5 out of 5.
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