Even though I haven’t unwrapped a single Christmas present, my holiday has already been brightened by some fabulous gifts of the musical variety. Most significantly, the one wish I’ve offered up every year to no avail is finally being realized…
Yes, Virginia, Sade is recording a new album!
The jazzy pop/soul British four-piece, named for lead vocalist/lyricist Sade Adu, is one of my favorite musical acts ever — which makes it all the more torturous that they’re also one of the slowest, releasing albums at a glacial pace.
Since issuing “Diamond Life” in 1984, which produced the international hit “Smooth Operator” and secured the band a Best New Artist Grammy, they have subsequently released just four studio albums: “Promise,” “Stronger Than Pride,” “Love Deluxe” and “Lovers Rock.”
After a decade(!)-long wait, “Soldier Of Love” comes out Feb. 8 and I can’t wait to hear it. Musically, Sade has never put a foot wrong — and, let’s face it, if you’re going to take years off between releases this is the only way you’ll have a career to return to — and I have complete faith they’ll deliver again.
Actually, I’m not standing on faith alone this time — someone who’s opinion I trust has already heard a portion of the album and weighed in. R&B star Maxwell is Sony labelmates with Sade and friends with saxman Stuart Matthewman. After hearing some of the early session work, he exclaimed online earlier this year, “Trust me, it’s so monolithic it’ll shake you in your shoes!”
Santa, thank you for making my fondest wish come true. I owe you one, you jolly old elf. Well, actually, I owe you two. The recently announced Grammy nominations you were carrying around in your bag are pretty great too. There’s a lot of good nominees this year, many of whom are either in the LGBT community or worshipped by it.
Here’s a list of the Big Four categories:
Record Of The Year
“Halo,” Beyoncé; “I Gotta Feeling,” The Black Eyed Peas; “Use Somebody,” Kings Of Leon; “Poker Face,” Lady Gaga; “You Belong With Me,” Taylor Swift
Album Of The Year
“I Am…Sasha Fierce,” Beyoncé; “The E.N.D.,” The Black Eyed Peas; “The Fame,” Lady Gaga; “Big Whiskey And The Groogrux King,” Dave Matthews Band; “Fearless,” Taylor Swift
Song Of The Year (A Songwriters Award)
“Poker Face,” Lady Gaga & RedOne; “Pretty Wings,” Hod David & Musze; “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),” Thaddis Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash & Christopher Stewart; “Use Somebody,” Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill; “You Belong With Me,” Liz Rose & Taylor Swift
Best New Artist
Zac Brown Band; Keri Hilson; MGMT; Silversun Pickups; The Ting Tings
The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards will be presented live on Jan. 31 on CBS television.