Stronger Than Pride (Remastered) Sade Label: Sony Release Date: 11/14/2000 1 Love Is Stronger Than Pride - 4:20 2 Paradise - 4:05 3 Nothing Can Come Between Us - 4:25 4 Haunt Me - 5:53 5 Turn My Back on You - 6:09 6 Keep Looking - 5:24 7 Clean Heart - 4:04 8 Give It Up - 3:52 9 I Never Thought I'd See the Day - 4:16 10 Siempre Hay Esperanza - 5:15
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from ALEXANDRIA, VA
Reviewed on 11/13/2010...
An often overlooked album, "Stroner Than Pride" is one of Sade's best. You can put it on, and later, you will realize you've been grooving to a pretty amazing sound. Every song on this album is great--especially "Haunt Me"--but just sit, listen, and enjoy.
Secrets of the soul
rmcrae | Houston, Texas | 04/12/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The most common criticism of Sade is that they don't change their sound very often and most of their songs sound the same. It's true, but up to a point. In all the 20 plus years the group has been recording they've created a sound that is distinctly their own and never radically changed. However, none of their albums sound exactly alike if you take the time to really listen to them.
Three years after leaving their fans begging for more, Sade and the boys went back to the studio and created one of their best works ever. Gone were Stuart's red hot sax and the jazzy background of the prior albums, but more Latin and Middle Eastern influences took their place. The production was more sparse and refined, but filled to the brim with slight nuances. Because of that, Stronger Than Pride is their most misunderstood album and the "elevator muzak" tag was slapped on it and the band as a whole. Lazy ears lead to unfair judgements, I say.
The hazy, hushed title track finds Sade wanting to abandon a deceitful lover, but her love for him trumps her pride. "I still really really love you/Love is stronger than pride." Background singer Leroy Osbourne's softly deep vocals mix perfectly with Sade's breathy, light as a feather contralto. The tropical Paradise picks up the tempo slightly. There's not much to the lyrics, but the strength comes from Sade's chant like delivery. "I'd wash the sand off the shore/Give you the world if it was mine/Blow you right on my door/Mmm mmm, feels fine!" The video of Sade dancing with a little girl in a Mexican village brings the song to life.
Sade promises her lover that nothing can end their love for each other on the bass heavy Nothing Can Come Between Us. Once again, Leroy's background vocals fit Sade's like a glove. The aptly titled Haunt Me features only Sade and some strings. The lyrics swearing pure devotion are poetic and heartfelt. "And if you want to sleep/I'll be quiet like an angel/As quiet as your soul could be/If you only knew you had a friend like me." "Try to tell you that it's alright/Ooo I'm not playing/Can't you see what I am saying?/You are my religion" Sade assures her man on the percolating funky pop track Turn My Back On You. Very dancable.
The airy Keep Looking is a great song to listen to whenever you feel unsure of yourself. Although your detractors "tell that you're wrong/You do it all the wrong way", "Don't show your weakness/Don't let them bother you, no/Keep looking!" My favorite part is the end where Sade sings "Don't lay awake at night/Thinking about your worries/Thinking about your problems/Don't lay awake at night/Thinking about your worries" like a comforting friend.
Clean Heart tells the story of a young man with a "clean dream", but a "bad start". Turning to crime in order to make life better for his family, he meets a tragic fate. Sade's emotional vocals and a distant trumpet heighten the sadness of the man's death. "And as the moon slid up over the restless streets/Sirens mocking and people stop to see/Their greedy eyes don't realize/He's someone's son/Finger on the trigger for the years to come." Sade asks her lover to "tell me the secrets of your soul" and "give it up and let go" on the lovestruck groove of Give It Up. She breaks out with abandon on the chorus.
My absolute favorite song on the whole album is I Never Thought I'd See the Day where Sade discovers the betrayal of her beloved. The music is low key and Sade's vocals hang over it like a light mist. The best part is her desperate plea "I wish you could shelter me!/Shelter me now!" Stu's slightly muted sax breaks out in it's first appearance in the background. Brilliant. The sax makes it to the forefront of the Spanish tinged instrumental Siempre Hay Esperanza (There Is Always Hope in English). It's sexy and fluid, but never meanders.
It's not surprising this album was seen as a disappointment at the time of it's release. Especially when compared to the bombastic, technicolor pop of the 80s, but it traded popularity for timelessness. Viva Sade!"