Editors' Notes Sade set themselves apart in the early ’80s with a smooth-as-butter sound melding classic R&B, rock flourishes, and slick soul production. And here, after an eight-year hiatus, the group hadn’t lost any of their class or genre-hopping skills. “By Your Side” employs a bouncing country rhythm, while “The Sweetest Gift” is all syrupy pop sweetness. “Flow” flexes an easy hip-hop beat topped with a folky acoustic guitar, while “Slave Song” fuses bold, socially aware lyrics with a chill reggae vibe.

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