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Review: Sade’s decade-long absence hasn’t lost her any fans

Published in the Vancouver Sun August 14, 2011.

BY AMANDA ASH, VANCOUVER SUN

Sade’s decade-long hibernation hasn’t left them buried and forgotten

Ten years may have passed since the English R&B soft rock band last toured or released a record, but neither Sade nor the crowd at Rogers Arena seemed to blink an eye at the quartet’s yawning musical absence. Led by 52-year-old singing-songwriting cornerstone Helen Folasade (Sade) Adu, Saturday night’s show was a happy reunion between old friends. Sade and the audience may have grown a few laugh lines over the years, but they certainly haven’t grown apart.

Very few bands have the luxury of popping their heads above ground after such a lengthy hiatus to find they’re still burning as bright as bedside aromatherapy candles. Sade, however, seem to be the exception. For the past 20 years or so, the Nigerian-born Adu’s family life has outweighed her professional, resulting in only two records since 1992’s Love Deluxe. The Grammy Award-winning group’s latest mood-setter, 2010’s Soldier Of Love, is only the sixth studio album in their 25-year career. It’s also the first since 2000’s Lover’s Rock.

Perhaps Sade can thank the timelessness of their rapturous make-out music for their continued success. The group’s sultry sound—the equivalent of a shirtless, muscled man running his baby-soft fingertips down your spine—never expires. Or maybe Sade has their patient fanbase to thank for staunchly following them since 1984’s debut album Diamond Life.

Either way, Sade proved to a mix of young and old fans Saturday night that they’re a classic band that will always remain (adult) contemporary.

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