Something Else! sneak peek: Sade, "I Never Would Have Guessed" (2011)

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A new offering from Sade’s forthcoming 28-track two-disc hits package The Ultimate Collection, “I Would Never Have Guessed” turns every candle-lit romantic notion about Sade’s music on its ear.

Instead of pulling in close, she is turning her back on a lover — despite the conflicting emotions that it stirs up. After a lonely piano intro, Sade takes the lyrics into a twilight shadow that’s unhinted at in the urbane silken grooves of “Smooth Operator” or “The Sweetest Taboo”: “I know that the damage is already done; there’s no going back,” she sings, with a tender firmness. “I would never have guessed … we’d come to this.”

In keeping with this nervy new attitude, Sade’s also shed the lithe island rhythms that defined her initial sound. In fact, they almost seem like a busy artifice within this new, bluntly honest context. Anything louder than a whisper would be too showy.

By the end, as a quiet solitude envelops her, Sade sounds torn to bits, stripped down to a shivering rawness. The built-in romanticism of her oaken purr starts to work in direct contrast. It’s a new sound, from a familiar voice, one that’s learned some things along the way.

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Sade will release The Ultimate Collection on May 2 in the UK and on May 3 in America, then is set to launch a tour through Europe, the UK, and North America beginning April 29 in Nice, France. The North American leg of the tour, also featuring John Legend, is Sade’s first tour in the region in 10 years. Tickets for the North American shows can be purchased via Ticketmaster and LiveNation. To purchase tickets for the European tour, visit www.sade.com.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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