Stronger Than Pride

Stronger Than Pride

For Stronger Than Pride, Sade and her band go deeper into their music than ever before. There's a hypnotic authority to the bass-oriented rhythms of “Turn My Back On You” and “Keep Looking,” two of the album’s most coaxing songs. In “Paradise” and “Give It Up,” Sade incants single lines and phrases; “Give it up, give it all,” she sings in the latter, “Surrender your love, surrender your love to me.” More than any of the other Sade albums, Stronger Than Pride borrows from club music — its magnetic throb, its fathomless grooves, its exclamations of transcendence and ecstasy. But Stronger Than Pride is by no means a disco album. “Haunt Me” and “I Never Thought I’d See the Day” are ballads that forgo drums, and instead manifest themselves like shimmering mirages of blues. “Clean Heart” is unlike anything else on the album but it is one of the band’s best songs. A poignant piece of pop jazz, it features Sade using her higher register to draw a portrait of two lovers on an urban summer’s day. Sade manages to capture all the scene’s many facets, from beauty to terror, passion to doom.

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