Review #200: Diamond Life, Sade

Karla Clifton
3 min readNov 17, 2021

#200: Diamond Life, Sade

WE DID IT. 316 days after I began ambling down this weird road, we’re two-fifths of the way through. This is going to take me a really long time, isn’t it?

Honestly, though, I love it. This is my favorite writing to do right now. So many of these albums have made their way into my regular listening rotation. I don’t care how long it takes, I’m GOING to listen to all 500 of these albums, and slay the Beast that is Rolling Stone Magazine.

This is one of those albums that I wouldn’t have touched with a ten-foot-pole otherwise, but I’m so grateful that I got through it.

Lead singer Sade Adu was a fashion designer before she helped form the band that bears her name, which makes her possibly the coolest person listed yet. The group isn’t particularly prolific, but when they do put music out, it’s to critical acclaim and commercial success.

I feel like I’ve heard the “sophisti-pop” sound parodied so many times that I thought I’d be rolling my eyes the entire time. But it’s impossible not to take these songs seriously when you hear Sade sing them. Her voice — I’m obsessed with it. It’s low and lightly London accented and gorgeous.


“Smooth Operator” — The only song I’d definitely heard before. It took me a second to get into it, but once I did I was all in.

“Your Love Is King” — The saxophone here is by Stuart Matthewman, and I love how often he’s featured. Sade was basically formed out of the wreckage of the jazz group Pride. Goes to show: If your band sucks but the musicians in it rule, just change the name and put the girl in front!

“Hang On to Your Love” — This song in particular sounds a lot like Michael Jackson.

“Frankie’s First Affair” Frankie, didn’t I tell you/You’ve got the world/In the palm of your hand?

“When Am I Going To Make A Living” — Girl, same. She wrote this one on the back of a bill. It made me a little teary-eyed. They’ll waste your body and soul if you allow them to.

“Cherry Pie” — Very dissimilar from the masterpiece of the same name by Warrant, but beautiful all the same. Apparently all the instrumentals on this song were a bitch to mix.

“Sally” — Sally isn’t a hooker with a heart of gold — she’s the Salvation Army! She’s doing our dirty work.

“I Will Be Your Friend” — Maybe the song here with the simplest message, but lovely all the same.

“Why Can’t We Live Together” — Beautiful interpretation of a Timmy Thomas original. I’m very into this long bossa nova intro.


As Rick Ross has said, “There’s never been a bad Sade track.”


Every time I reach a female artist that really blows me away, I count how many Beatles albums are listed above it. There are six Beatles albums above this one. That’s all I’m gonna say.

Review #199: Slanted and Enchanted, Pavement

Review #201: Midnight Marauders, A Tribe Called Quest