Soldier of Love (album)

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Soldier of Love
Studio album by Sade
Released 5 February 2010 (2010-02-05)
Recorded
Genre
Length 41:58
Label
Producer
Sade chronology
Lovers Live
(2002)
Soldier of Love
(2010)
The Ultimate Collection
(2011)
Singles from Soldier of Love
  1. "Soldier of Love"
    Released: 11 January 2010 (2010-01-11)
  2. "Babyfather"
    Released: 13 April 2010 (2010-04-13)
  3. "The Moon and the Sky"
    Released: 24 August 2010 (2010-08-24)

Soldier of Love is the sixth studio album by English band Sade, released on 5 February 2010 by RCA Records and Epic Records. It is their first album of original material since Lovers Rock (2000). The first single "Soldier of Love" premiered on US radio on 8 December 2009,[1][2] and was released digitally on 11 January 2010.[3] Subsequent singles "Babyfather" and "The Moon and the Sky" were serviced to US urban AC radio on 13 April and 24 August 2010, respectively.[4][5]

The album debuted at number four on the UK Albums Chart. It also debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 502,000 copies in the United States, making it Sade's first number-one debut on the chart, and topped the charts in several other countries. Upon its release, Soldier of Love received generally positive reviews from most music critics and won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. The band promoted the album with their first concert tour in ten years, Sade Live.[6]

Background[edit]

In March 2009, American recording artist Maxwell, a fellow Sony Music recording artist and longtime friend and collaborator with Stuart Matthewman, sent a message to fans via his private Facebook page in which he indicated that he had heard some of Sade's new recordings, saying, "Trust me, it's so monolithic it'll shake you in your shoes!"[7]

According to Billboard, the band had been working on the album throughout June 2009. At that time, Sony Music had not set a release date but it hoped to put the record out by the end of 2009. "She is in the studio and the album will come when it is ready", a source at Sony Music told Billboard. "You don't wait for years for one and then rush it."[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[8]
The A.V. Club A–[9]
Chicago Tribune 3/4 stars[10]
Entertainment Weekly A[11]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[12]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[13]
Pitchfork Media 7.0/10[14]
Q 4/5 stars[15]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[16]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[17]

Soldier of Love received generally positive reviews from music critics; it received an average score of 79 out of 100 from Metacritic.[18] Chicago Tribune writer Greg Kot wrote favorably of Sade Adu's singing, stating "she remains alluring and subtly rewarding, while still keeping the listener at a safe distance, as if she had even deeper secrets to guard."[10] The Daily Telegraph '​s Tom Horan gave the album five stars and commented that its songs are "beautifully balanced between warmth and toughness, vulnerability and hauteur."[19] The Observer '​s Kitty Empire called it a "triumph for quality over quantity."[20] Jim DeRogatis of Chicago Sun-Times gave the album three out of four stars and complimented its "sophisticated and soulful grooves", stating, "Sade may not be giving us anything radically new, but it's a pleasure just to have her back doing what she's always done so well."[21] Stephen M. Duesner of Paste called it Sade's "most musically adventurous collection to date, and also its most expansive and rewarding".[22] Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club felt that the album "benefits from a divine sense of intimacy; Sade seems to be whispering secret thoughts directly into the listener's ears."[9] Benjamin Boles of Now wrote that its production "sounds a bit tougher and chunkier than the band's early work, but the classic Sade vibe we love is still front and centre."[23]

In a mixed review, AllMusic's Andy Kellman felt that the album's lyrical themes are bleak, writing that "a fair portion ... comes off as drained-sounding, only echoed with vanilla arrangements that are merely functional".[8] Pete Paphides of The Times perceived a lack of "catchy tracks" as a weakness and called it "an album bordering upon ambient in its statuesque stillness".[24] The Guardian writer Caroline Sullivan was ambivalent towards the group's "pop-soul" and "quiet storm" style on the album, but added that the "­lushness and understatement" is balanced by "lyrics of surprising transparency".[12] Despite calling its mood "morose" and expressing a mixed response towards its "bleakness and melancholy", All About Jazz critic Jeff Winbush viewed Soldier of Love as an improvement over Sade's previous album, Lovers Rock.[25] MSN Music's Robert Christgau gave the album a one-star honorable mention, citing "Babyfather" and the title track as highlights, and quipped, "I'm glad she finally put some beats on her sang-froid, but by the time she gets around to setting Ghost up with a 16 he'll probably be out of the life."[26]

The song "Babyfather" was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals[27][28] and the title track won Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.[29]

Commercial performance[edit]

Soldier of Love debuted at number four on the UK Albums Chart, selling 42,997 copies in its first week.[30] It had sold 116,672 copies in the United Kingdom by May 2011,[31] and was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) on 22 July 2013.[32] The album debuted atop the Billboard 200 in the United States with first-week sales of 502,000 copies, becoming Sade's first number-one debut and second number-one album on the chart, as well as the best sales week for an album by a group since AC/DC's Black Ice entered the Billboard 200 at number one in November 2008 with 784,000 copies sold.[33] It remained at number one for three consecutive weeks, selling 190,000 copies in its second week and 127,000 copies in its third.[34][35] The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) within one month of its release, on 15 March 2010,[36] and as of April 2011, it had sold 1.3 million copies in the US.[37]

The album debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart with first-week sales of under 20,000 units,[38] spending three consecutive weeks atop the chart.[39] The Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) certified the album platinum on 24 March 2010, denoting shipments in excess of 80,000 copies.[40] In France, Soldier of Love sold 18,986 copies to enter the French Albums Chart at number one.[41] The album topped the charts in several other countries, including Belgium (Wallonia), Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland,[42][43][44][45][46] while peaking at number one on Billboard '​s European Top 100 Albums for four consecutive weeks.[47] Soldier of Love had sold 2.3 million copies outside the UK by the end of 2010, becoming that year's second best-selling album worldwide by a British artist, behind Susan Boyle's The Gift.[48]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Sade Adu

No. Title Music Length
1. "The Moon and the Sky"  
4:28
2. "Soldier of Love"  
  • Adu
  • Hale
  • Matthewman
  • Paul S. Denman
5:59
3. "Morning Bird"  
  • Adu
  • Hale
  • Matthewman
3:55
4. "Babyfather"  
  • Adu
  • Juan Janes
  • Andrew Nichols
  • Matthewman
4:40
5. "Long Hard Road"  
  • Adu
  • Janes
  • Nicholls
3:03
6. "Be That Easy"  
  • Adu
  • Matthewman
3:41
7. "Bring Me Home"  
  • Adu
  • Matthewman
  • Hale
4:09
8. "In Another Time"  
  • Adu
  • Matthewman
  • Hale
5:06
9. "Skin"  
  • Adu
  • Matthewman
  • Hale
  • Denman
4:13
10. "The Safest Place"  
  • Adu
  • Hale
2:46

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Soldier of Love.[49]

Sade
  • Sade – production
  • Sade Adu – vocals, programming
  • Stuart Matthewman – guitar, programming, saxophone
  • Andrew Hale – keyboards, programming
  • Paul S. Denman – bass
Additional personnel

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Austria (IFPI Austria)[100] Gold 10,000x
Belgium (BEA)[101] Gold 15,000*
Brazil (ABPD)[102] Gold 20,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[40] Platinum 80,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[103] Gold 13,304[103]
France (SNEP)[104] 2× Platinum 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[105] Gold 150,000^
Greece (IFPI Greece)[60] Platinum 6,000^
Hungary (Mahasz)[106] 2× Platinum 12,000x
Italy (FIMI)[107] Gold 30,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[108] Diamond 100,000*
Russia (NFPF)[91] 2× Platinum 20,000*
Sweden (GLF)[109] Gold 20,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[110] Platinum 30,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[32] Gold 116,672[31]
United States (RIAA)[36] Platinum 1,300,000[37]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Formats Label Ref.
Germany 5 February 2010 Sony Music
[111][112]
France Digital download
[113]
8 February 2010 CD
[114]
United Kingdom
  • CD
  • digital download
RCA Records
[115][116]
Canada 9 February 2010 Sony Music
[117][118]
United States Epic Records
[119][120]
Australia 12 February 2010 Sony Music
[121][122]
Japan 3 March 2010
[123]
Germany 19 March 2010 LP
[111]
United Kingdom 25 October 2010 Music on Vinyl
[124]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]