Every half decade or so, Helen Folasade Adu (better known as Sade) blesses us with a new CD. Her last effort, 2000's "Lovers Rock" (4 out of 5 stars), was her best. If the advance single, the out of step single "Soldier of Love" (2 out of 4 stars) is an indication of what her new material will sound like, it won't be anywhere near being her best effort, but it will be an interesting radical departure from her romantic past.
For the most part, I like Sade's seductive songs - they're music to make babies by. Everybody feels sexy when they listen to Sade, but there's no sense of sensuality in "Soldier," and that's what Sade is all about. Simplistic lines like "It's a wild, wild west, doing my best to stay alive," don't really cut it for me after an eight year hiatus.
The five minute video borrows from Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation" both in subject matter and visual impact, which is negligible. With high-stepping dancers hip-hopping to military drum rolls, snapping to attention at Sade's command or bending their bodies in unison, these soldiers look like the Alvin Ailey Army, and while I respect Alvin's talents (as well as the other chipmunks), this is one fey looking bunch of recruits. I'm not sure what the dominatrix Sade with a lasso image means, but yippy-yi-oh-ki-yay.
Sade set out to do something different, and in that regard she's succeeded. Too bad "Soldier of Love" is 4-F. I'm hoping to re-enlist in Sade's army when I hear the rest of the CD is released February 8.