Tuesday Night Music Byte
Lynnrockets recently watched the film Julie & Julia about a thirty year old New Yorker who decided to cook every dish in one of Julia Childs’ cookbooks and to blog about it. It was a novel idea so we decided to copy it. No, we will not be cooking in the usual sense (that could start a fire). Rather, we will adapt the recipe a day concept to our nightly music bytes. From now to infinity (didn’t somebody else coin that phrase?) we will post a music video and brief description of the artist or song in a sort of alphabetical order as culled from Tom Moon’s wonderful reference book, 1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die (A Listener’s Life List). The book describes both whole albums (remember those) and individual songs from all music genres that are essential listening. Do yourselves a favor and purchase this book. Where the book deals with an individual song, we will post that song, but when an entire album is the subject, we will exercise judicial discretion and post a single song therefrom. So what do you say, let’s get cooking…
Sade – Promise – “Is It A Crime” (1985)
“Led by Nigerian-born beauty Sade Adu, the band known as Sade slithered on to the radio with the conga-spiced “Smooth Operator” in 1985. It was like a direct beam from Planet Eros: Here, in the age of synths, was an earthy essence as creamy as day spa body butter, with breathy vocals and melodies Shimmering like satin sheets. Those desperate for something new to put next to Barry White in the romantico cd changer fell immediately for this aural aphrodisiac, cool and sophisticated and perfect for candlelight.
That first album Diamond Life was a bit erratic. By the follow-up, Promise, Sade and her gifted jazz honed band of Brits fully refined the sound by balancing vaguely exotic rhythmic undulations against catchy, wistfully sung hooks designed for the radio. .. The whole record percolates gently; often the only interruptions are Sade’s sighs of rapture. And, where earlier vocals are tentative, by the forlorn torch song, “Is It A Crime”, Sade sounds fully in control, communicating in a language of hurt bewilderment. The understatement she radiates serves the music well. Promise is an oasis of calm, one of few genuinely subtle records to emerge from the mostly shrill middle 80’s.