Before their sixth studio album, “Soldier of Love” was released in February, I was only vaguely familiar with Sade. Most of my exposure had come from my years of working grocery stores and being exposed to their almost nauseating soft rock play lists. However, I would always find solace in hearing “Smooth Operator,” arguably the British group’s biggest hit. It’s refined sense of cool and lead singer Sade Adu’s seductive voice gave the song a distinct feel amongst Michael Buble, Rod Stewart, and The Bee Gees. It’s no surprise, then, that the band have sold over 50 million albums worldwide.

This year, I stumbled upon Sade once again when I saw a Letterman performance (posted above) of the title track to “Soldier of Love.” After the song’s five minutes came to an end, I was floored. There was so much depth and emotion that went into the performance that I was literally speechless. Since then, I was able to track down the album (which, like several of the group’s other albums, hit #1) and I can easily say it’s one of the most distinguished albums released this year. No other group sounds like them, and when you can still reach #1 after a 10 year hiatus, that’s saying something. The best part is that every time I hear “Soldier of Love,” I still get chills. The song (along with the entirety of the album) is that good. It’s a rally cry for anyone who has been broken by a significant other, but still believes in the power of love.

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