HW Pick: The Best Of Sade

With her beauty and steamy voice, Sade couldn’t help but be a star from Harlem to Harare. Taking the more sensuous elements of island beats, smooth jazz, and R&B, Sade scored major hits with the continental feel of “Smooth Operator” and the sultry stylization of “Your Love Is King.” Her voice was often criticized for being thin, yet she made it work to her advantage with songs like the haunting “Jezebel,” on which her delivery added the vulnerability necessary to the song. Sade sounded best when she stuck to the lower register, and there is nothing thin about her dynamic handling of her torch song “Is It a Crime.” “The Sweetest Taboo” was one of her last great moments before years of mediocrity, chronicled here by the lifeless “Stronger Than Pride” and the limp “Nothing Can Come Between Us.” “No Ordinary Love” was a return to form with the smoky richness back in her vocals and the urban/island feel of her first release. Best of Sade goes right up to her hit “Pearls,” which, remixed, became a dance floor hit. The nicest surprise here is “Please Send Me Someone to Love,” with Sade proving that although her range may be limited vocally, she doesn’t suffer the same fate artistically. —Steve Gdula

Price: $ 9.99 (5 star)

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