Stronger Than Pride
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Stronger Than Pride
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Stronger Than Pride
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The title track of the album "Stronger than Pride" is sheer class from THE most under-rated artist in the UK.
The main thyme of this (and many of her other works) is the pursuit of lasting love. The songs are very soulful, highly instrumental, exotic and touch your heart strings a lot. "Love is stronger", the opening track, is very slow and lingering ..tempting the listener to just mellow out. "Paradise" is fast and bassy. "Keep Looking" and "Give it up" again have that recognisable strong bass sound. "I never thought I'd see the day" is , perhaps, the best track on the album.It is a beautifully slow track with gentle background sounds and sad, touching lyrics. It finishes with the wonderful "Siempre hay Esperanza"...("hope" in Spanish).
Overall a terrific album.
No matter where you are, or what you are doing, once this one is playing you are somewhere else. And it is a good place to be. The flavor on this one is really special and even when it moves from the sandy shores (Love is Stronger Than Pride, Paradise) to the city surrounding it (Keep Looking, Clean Heart) there is no doubt we are still there, only it is night now, and time to reflect.
We get the spanish flavored ballad "Haunt Me" and the longing "I Never Thought I'd See the Day" to mellow us down. But it is getting late and the romance with that girl we met on the beach turns in another direction. Sade and her band know how to set this mood well and the instumental "Siempre Hay Esperanza" brings our day on the shore to it's perfect completion. It is a song so sexy it was the background music to the famous "supermarket" scene in "Sea of Love" with Pacino and Barkin.
Great rhythms surround Sade's sensual vocals in this perfect production. Sade knows we don't want to think when in exotic surroundings, we only want to feel. This effort creates that mood completely. We get to go somewhere else and we don't have to travel. All we have to do is pick this one up, and put it on....
Whilst continuing the essential groove of the first two album releases, `Stronger than Pride' exudes a greater confidence than earlier efforts; the band no longer has anything to prove. In the 21st century one might expect a pop-influenced jazz album from 1988 to sound dated, but not so: the phrase "less is more" was never more true than here. The core band - Stuart Matthewman on guitar and sax, Paul Spencer Denman on bass and Andrew Hale on keyboards - remains unchanged from the debut. Each is a strong musician/composer and together they form an organic unit with distinctive character, the perfect vehicle for Sade's mature, lush vocal lead.
`Haunt Me' and `I Never Thought I'd See the Day' are distinctive mood pieces which define the album's groove: stretched-out, enigmatic, with slow minor-key flourishes from tenor sax and keyboard. Even the upbeat pop single `Keep Looking' with driving drumbeat from guest drummer Martin Ditcham underpinned by Denman's insistent bass line doesn't break the spell. The song collection as a whole has a distinctive character and seems to belong together as a family, very much in the way of Fleetwood Mac's classic 1976 album `Rumours'.
This is one sublime, classic album, the perfect complement to a summer afternoon or evening. Of all Sade's releases, it has endured the best; it's timeless. Check it out.
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