Totally devoted to her man, Sade longs to warm his soul (“King of Sorrow”) and be a pillar of strength should he lose his way (“By Your Side”). “Flow” compares their love to an endless river. On “All About Our Love,” a romance tried by fire has endured the heat and stands as a monument to commitment. A woman in the hold of a slave trader’s ship believes that strength, wisdom and prayer will help her withstand whatever lies ahead (“Slave Song”). “Immigrant” compassionately shares the story of a black man forced to endure racial prejudice. Whether directed at God or a romantic partner, Sade credits someone with being her reliable “Lovers Rock.” Amidst praising a woman for her intestinal fortitude, the artist upholds tenderness, love, selflessness and forgiveness as rare, but inestimable virtues (“It’s Only Love That Gets You Through”).
She’s not as flashy as Madonna. She doesn’t display the vocal range of Mariah Carey. Yet Helen Folasade Adu (aka Sade) has moved more than 40 million records since 1985. Smooth operator indeed! The Nigerian-born singer scores a direct hit with Lovers Rock, an uplifting mainstream release draped in audio velvet.