With her cool and seductive sound, Sade took the pop world by quiet storm in the 1980s, yet Lovers Rock marks the singer's first new full studio set since 1992.
That's almost a lifetime in terms of contemporary pop, but her return here is a welcome one, as the disc is likely to appeal to anyone who's ever been enticed by Sade's distinctive but subdued style and allure. The instrumentation is very low key, with the emphasis throughout on gentle percussion and voice, as Sade turns up the temperature on songs like the sparse "Somebody Already Broke My Heart," the gorgeous, jazz-tinged title track, and the single "By Your Side."
The latter cut is more structured than some of the others here, which occasionally rely too much on minimalist melodies. Still, the Nigerian-born, British-bred songstress hasn't lost a trace of her grace, and she's still got the perfect sound for late nights and low lights.