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Insert Comma • A Portfolio of Leigh E. Rich
Categories: Music, Utrinque Paratus

‘Lovers Live’

By Leigh E. Rich

Lovers Live
Sony Music

Lovers Live, the latest release from Nigerian-born Sade featuring mainstays “No Ordinary Love” and “Smooth Operator” alongside five songs from Lovers Rock (2000), provides the ultimate in study music, as the only thing that’ll disrupt you from the books is the obnoxious screaming of fans between songs.

Disregarding the point of a live album—to allow musicians to showcase their artistry and prove they aren’t just studio-created phenomena—Lovers Live is a ho-hum display of Sade’s same ol’ songs, many already duplicated on other albums, sung the same ol’ way.

Rather than mixing up her style and dishing up the spontaneous (like Sting unabashedly did with his Louis Armstrong-esque version of “Moon Over Bourbon Street” during his Ritchie Center appearance last fall), Lovers Live falls as flat as the Sahara.

Credit where it might be due, Sade attempts to punch up “The Sweetest Taboo,” although with little success, and adds her sweet, though not necessarily attention-grabbing pieces of Lovers Rock such as “Slave Song,” “Somebody Already Broke My Heart,” and “By Your Side.” The latter, and nigh well the only, begs for replay: “When you’re lost and you’re alone and you can’t get back again / I will find you darling and I will bring you home.”

The worthwhile live album is a concept one wouldn’t ever expect of, say, Britney Spears, as she relies on cleavage-enhancing costumes and bouncy dance moves that dazzle but don’t transfer well to CD. While Sade remains lost somewhere between the Stings and the Spears of the music world, Lovers Live at least proves her talent to conform to her studio sound. 

Rich, L. E. (2002, February 20). Sade: ‘Lovers Live.’ CU-Denver Advocate.

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