An army of fans more than 500,000 of themÃ‚Â went out to support SadeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s latest CD,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Soldier of Love,Ã¢â‚¬Â giving the group their first No. 1 disc in 20 years.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Soldier of LoveÃ¢â‚¬Â sold 501,665 units in its first week, debuting on top of the Billboard 200 album charts, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The CD is the follow-up to their Grammy-winning album Ã¢â‚¬Å“Lovers Rock,Ã¢â‚¬Â released in 2000. The group is led by 51-year-old Sade Adu (ah-DOOÃ¢â‚¬â„¢).
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been 10 years since her last album, a fatal hiatus for almost any other artist, but just another hibernation for a woman whose disdain for fame only deepens our fascination. SadeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s voice sounds unchanged, a unique emotional instrument that conjures visions of rain-streaked windows and windblown streets. Her topics love, loss, sorrow, strength remain the same. But her music has still moved forward.
The aggressive title track makes a bold statement, its stabbing drums continuing the bass-heavy direction of her 2000 release, Ã¢â‚¬Å“LoverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Rock.Ã¢â‚¬Â Some of the new albumÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 10 songs are classic, smooth Sade. But thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also a country twanger, a reggae-tinged ode to father who are not husbands, even SadeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first uptempo number since 1992Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“Kiss of Life.Ã¢â‚¬Â
This is only the sixth album in 25 years for Helen Folasade Adu, born in her fatherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Nigeria and raised in her motherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s England. She is still working with her original three bandmates: bassist Paul Denman, guitarist and saxophonist Stuart Matthewman, and keyboardist Andrew Hale. She is still mysterious, ageless and defiant.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I only make records when I feel I have something to say,Ã¢â‚¬Â Sade says on her Web site. Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not interested in releasing music just for the sake of selling something. Sade is not a brand.Ã¢â‚¬Â