Released just 12 months after Diamond Life (they’ve now slowed to a cool album-every-ten-years average…), Promise retains much of the cool lounge chic of Sade’s debut while branching out into more latin and balearic sounds, with Sade Adu herself producing and arranging several tracks alongside Diamond Life producer Robin Millar. Promise opens in full-blown jazz mode with the dynamic big band drama of “Is It A Crime” before moving into what is perhaps their best known song, the rainy confessional “The Sweetest Taboo.” “Tar Baby,” “Jezebel” and “Never As Good As The First Time” are sultry jazz ballads in the vein of Diamond Life, but the rest of the record is peppered with balearic and experimental touches that hint at the promise of the band’s subsequent work. The macabre theatrics and borderline free jazz of “Fear” (with Adu trading off English and Spanish verses), shuffling fusion of “Mr. Wrong,” sultry bossa nova of “War Of The Hearts” and upbeat jazz-funk of “Maureen” are other major standouts. Deluxe 180 gram Music On Vinyl pressing, housed in gatefold sleeve with full album lyrics. Recommended.
- deluxe 180g vinyl pressing
- gatefold sleeve
- limited edition
- music label: Music On Vinyl 2013
reviewed by hannibal chew 11/2017