Album of the day: Sade, "Love Deluxe"

Album of the day: Sade, “Love Deluxe”

Love Deluxe (Cd Epic 472626_2)

Many people wonder why the records signed by the Anglo-Nigerian singer Sade and her band have become so successful worldwide. Doesn’t Sade have a great vocal range or a particularly incisive timbre? Absolutely. Aren’t her songs very original in terms of writing? Absolutely. Are the band’s instrumentalists of modest ability (especially the saxophonist)? It’s hard to deny it; so how come since her debut in 1984 with “Diamond Life” Sade has found herself at the top of the charts all over the world and with each new album release her success has been renewed?

Because despite all the reservations mentioned above, his records perfectly fulfill their purpose, that of making those who listen to them spend a pleasant hour; they are impeccably recorded and arranged (often using prestigious session men from the English scene) and the elegance of the packaging is such as to make you forget that once the shiny ribbon has been unwrapped, there isn’t much inside the gift package. Even Sade’s uvula honestly does its job without venturing into territories that aren’t suited to it, and we must at least recognize the group’s ability to write songs that after a few listens can’t be shaken off.

It is not advisable to indulge in this kind of binge (in the long run its expressive limits would be exposed too much
evident) but if you focus on the most successful of his albums, “Love Deluxe” (1992) and, thanks to the heat of these days, you let yourself be carried away by its persuasive and relaxed atmospheres seasoned with simple melodies with an immediate effect, you might not even regret it once you reach the end of the disc.

“No Ordinary Love” immediately hits the target and “I Couldn’t Love You More”, “Kiss of Life”, “Bullett Proof Soul” and “Like a Tatoo” are equally effective and enveloping in their atmospheres characterized by warmth and laziness sensuality, occasionally enlivened by some interventions with a more markedly rhythmic flavor (but without exaggerating so as not to disturb the idyllic climate). Ultimately, one could apply to this work the same quotation from the poet Henri de Régnier that Ravel used for his
Valses Nobles et Sentimentales: «The delicious and ever new pleasure of a useless occupation».

Carlo Boccadoro, composer and conductor, was born in Macerata in 1963. He lives and works in Milan. He collaborates with soloists and orchestras in different parts of the world. He is the author of numerous books on musical topics.

This text is taken from “Lunario della musica: Un disco per ogni giorno dell’anno” published by Einaudi, courtesy of the author and the publisher.