Sade's studio recordings are so pristine that plans for a concert album at first sounded more like a way to dig deeper into the gold mine. But rather than simply rehashing a tall stack of romantic pop-R&B hits, Lovers Live... more » documents a surprisingly vibrant live group and its warm namesake (but hardly spotlight-hogging) singer. Taken from two California dates on 2001's Lovers Rock tour, the disc reflects an obvious enthusiasm for returning to the stage after a seven-year break. "The Sweetest Taboo" especially benefits from an infusion of energy, performed at a noticeably faster pace than the already assured original version. That's not the only surprise, as the dubwise "Slave Song" acquires another dimension in this setting. In the end, Live proves much more than a cash-in on an outfit that might drop into another long hiatus at any moment. --Rickey Wright« less
Sade's studio recordings are so pristine that plans for a concert album at first sounded more like a way to dig deeper into the gold mine. But rather than simply rehashing a tall stack of romantic pop-R&B hits, Lovers Live documents a surprisingly vibrant live group and its warm namesake (but hardly spotlight-hogging) singer. Taken from two California dates on 2001's Lovers Rock tour, the disc reflects an obvious enthusiasm for returning to the stage after a seven-year break. "The Sweetest Taboo" especially benefits from an infusion of energy, performed at a noticeably faster pace than the already assured original version. That's not the only surprise, as the dubwise "Slave Song" acquires another dimension in this setting. In the end, Live proves much more than a cash-in on an outfit that might drop into another long hiatus at any moment. --Rickey Wright
Disc has a few skips toward the end, at least on my car player.
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Hotter than a man with a turtleneck on in 90 degree weather
J. Highsmith | Mitchellville, Maryland United States | 02/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have always been a fan of Sade and their music. I have every CD from "Diamond Life" to "Lover's Rock". However, there is nothing like seeing a live Sade performance. On August 24, 2001, I saw Sade, along with India Arie at Nissan Pavillion. The concert was out of this world. India Arie did a good concert but everyone that was at the concert was waiting for Sade to perform. Once they reached the stage, Sade and company performed for almost 2 hours. When I learned that a live CD and DVD were on the way, I was eagerly awaiting both. The live CD does not disappoint at all. Although, the CD was recorded from two live shows in California, you couldn't even tell the difference between California and The Nissan Pavillion when it comes to the sound. I have been reading a few reviews and have a few comments to make: First of all, the CD is called "Lovers Live". So that tells you right there that a lot of songs will come directly from "Lovers Rock". As a fan, I would have loved to hear "Your Love Is King", "Hang On To Your Love" and other of her classics but as a Sade fan, I was not going to let that stop me from buying this live CD. Then I am reading where some people are complaining about the crowd noise on the CD. HELLO, it's a live CD. What do you expect? Sade has made a mark on r&b music for life and when she hasn't toured in almost 10 years, how do you expect their fans to react. Real fans of music, when they see one of their favorite bands, they will act accordingly and consumers should expect that. "Lovers Live" gets off to a nice start with the 3rd single from the "Love Deluxe" CD, "Cherish The Day". I can't think of a better way to start a live CD. The sound is great as Sade and company make wonders of this classic tune. From there, what may have been the 3rd single from "Lovers Rock", "Somebody Already Broke My Heart" is track #2. At the concert, the sounds coming from the band sound just like they were in the studio recording the "Lover's Rock" CD. The song sounded the same way it did live that it did on the CD. People need to realize that is not a bad thing. If you went and saw your favorite artist and their voice was distorted and cracking then you would have something to complain about. The sound overall was excellent, as well as, Sade Adu's voice. The best 2 gems on this CD are clearly "Jezebel" and "Is It A Crime". "Is It A Crime" is worth the price of the CD and the concert by itself. The arena was electrified while Sade Adu was singing this song and the same magic was captured on this CD. This live CD is well worth your money. If you are a fan of Sade then you would be making a mistake to not buy this CD. Other highlights include "Smooth Operator", "Kiss Of Life", "The Sweetest Taboo", "By Your Side" and "No Ordinary Love". I would have loved to hear "King Of Sorrow" on this live CD, but hey, you can't always get what you wish for. If you purchased "Lovers Live" at Circuit City you will also be privleged to have the live versions of "Immigrant" and "It's Only Love That Gets You Through" as well on an included bonus disc. This CD is a must buy in my opinion."
Bulls**t free, no-nonsense music.
David S. Minjares | Montebello, CA. USA | 02/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Where were you when you first heard "Smooth Operator" on the radio in 1983? What were your feelings? Delighted? Depressed? Annoyed? Refreshed? Intrigued? Uncertain?Now fast forward to 2002. Is there any song on today's pop radio that has even come close to the impact of the above song that you know just where you were or what the time of the season was when you first heard it? I didn't think so. God bless Sade. The singer and her band.I was at first very hesitant about purchasing "Lover's Live" for many reasons: 1) I had seen some clips of the concert on VH1 Soul and was purely blown away. 2) I'm kicking myself hard with regret for missing this tour. 3) That the audio CD was going to be a teaser for the VHS & DVD coming out in March (and directed by Sophie Muller).Yes, the CD IS a teaser. It's only 70 minutes long as opposed to the two hours-plus worth of material that will be on the video edition. Example? "Smooth Operator", played with more urgency this time, fades out when the extended jam is about to begin. Plus, the booklet pictures (and slight memories of the 1994 "Sade Live" video) only give a slight hint of the visuals about to be released in a month's time.But, oh, my God, what a teaser this is!There is a beautiful psychedelic flow that runs throughout the 13 tracks worth. It's still jazzy and pop, but with other elements of dub, folk and slow soul that make the whole listening experience very dreamlike. Plus, the fact that the crowd is sometimes louder than the band at times is almost surreal yet comforting. And Sade had never sounded better. There's plenty of wisdom & experience that has crept into that unique voice of hers and has made it stronger with age. The same applies to the band. Stuart Matthewman, Andrew Hale & Paul Denman provide some magnificent ear candy and a solid sonic foundation that grows better with age. Kudos also go out to regular Leroy Osbourne and new members Ryan Waters, Peter Lewinson, Karl Vanden Bossche & Tony Momrelle and fitting just like a comfortable glove.But let's get to the nitty-gritty, shall we? This is still some emotional & very warm stuff here, considering that back in '84 it might have been a manufactured item (a' la the British jazz-pop, "Absolute Beginners" trend). Sade (the collective) are an endangered breed. Pop music that is pleasing to the ear but can be unpredictable and occasionally unsettling. They strike some very deep nerves here and have created some of the most timeless & long-lasting music that has made a seamless transition from one century to another. And Sade Adu? This is one classy, warm, sensual, sexy and human lady that will always rises above the trends (especially today's sickening state of affairs) and show some TRUE STYLE & CLASS. Today's pop goddesses & divas have A LOT TO LEARN. This is no 80's retro act that will be stuck on any throwaway compilation soon. Long may they wave and GOD BLESS THEM.Buy this album. Enough said."
Smooth & seductive R & B, partly spoiled by the audience
Neal C. Reynolds | Indianapolis, Indiana | 12/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sade's music is intimate, and yet it translates better than expected in a live performance. It's true that her performance seems better suited to a cocktail lounge than to a massive auditorium, but she and the group respond well to the larger audience. Of course, that audience does become a bit of a pain. The reaction of the audience does seem louder and more annoying than is expected in a live album.This is of course, an edited version of the concert and so we miss out on some of the songs and some of the moments of the total concert. And that is a shame. However, it is Sade Adu, and it is the group Sade, and they all have some great moments that are captured on this recording. If you're not familiar with the music of Sade, I would suggest first listening to "Diamond Life" or "The Best of Sade". And if you are familiar with Sade Adu and her group's music, this does present the music you know in a new light."
Change this or prior album to Sade Rocks!
L. Johnson | Washington, DC United States | 03/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I didn't know this album was coming -or out (Hey, I've been busy!). I entered a record store that was playing 'Is it A Crime'. Vintage Sade, of course. I had it already. Then I heard a crowd in the background. Is this live? Yes-and the cashier presented the cover. Normally I don't go for live albums, for all the reasons previous naysayers have mentioned. But the excellent, live performance of 'Crime' grabbed me. I checked the list on back to see what other gems were included. 'No Ordinary Love', too? 'Jezebel'? Cool, I added the cd to my shopping cart. It might turn out to be like any other live album (bad sound), but hey, I'm a fan -it's still a collector, right?Then, on my way to the beach, I put it on in the car. I almost ran off the road. To sum it up, I'll restate what I overhead another shopper say in the record store: there's NOBODY like this woman. Her style, vocals, etc., cannot be duplicated. As a testament, consider this: she disappeared for nearly 10 years. She comes back, makes a live album in followup to "Lovers Rock" containing 10-15 year old songs. AND THEY STILL ROCK TODAY, LIKE THEY DID WHEN FIRST RELEASED. MAYBE MORESO. This would be defined as TIMELESS.Another testament: I'm an active Amazon buyer -with many favorite artists -who NEVER takes time to write reviews. Buy 'Lovers Live.'"
La Divina! La Stupenda! La Superba!
JPH | Crawley | 02/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To say that I am thrilled to bits with this live capture of Sade's Lovers Rock concert would be an understatement!!! Adding to my thrill is that Lovers Live is released in Asia at the same time as its US premiere(5 Feb). It seems only European Sade fans must wait until 18 Feb!??Anyway, this album showcases not only the unique voice of the great Nigerian-British chanteuse, it also serves as a platform for the rest of her bandmates to display their immaculate musicanship. Any accusation that Matthewman, Hale, and Denman are only wallpaper flowers who serve as the musical backdrop for Ms Adu's voice is completely dispelled here. They play their hearts out! Given the long sequence of songs (17+) she has to perform in a single evening, Sade's voice manages to retain remarkable uniformity of breadth, communicativeness and suppleness. You never get the feeling that she is at the end of a tether. The appreciative audience also plays a star role in this album, their hoots and applauses really add to the excitement of the occasion. The standout tracks are "Cherish the Day", "The Sweetest Taboo", "Paradise"(WOW, it really rocks!), "No Ordinary Love" and of course, "Is It A Crime". This last track is alone worth the price of admission --- Sade truly gives this ultimate torch song her all. If you aren't moved by this electrifying performance, please check your pulse!In all, this album is a must-have for any Sade fan.
And for non-fans who contend that Sade's music is lifeless and dull, well, they had better take note of this incredible CD!Five Stars All The Way!!!"