Aretha may be the Queen of Soul, Madonna may be the Queen of Pop, Chaka may be the Queen of Funk and Dolly may be the Queen of Country.
But now I’m crowning Sade with her own royal title: Bow down to the Queen of Quarantine and Chill.
It’s been 10 years since Sade Adu — who doesn’t need a last name any more than Cher, Bono or Prince — released her last album with her namesake band, 2010’s Grammy-winning “Soldier of Love.” But the sultry soul-pop siren behind such timeless torchiness as “Paradise”, “The Sweetest Taboo” and “No Ordinary Love” has been my smooth comforter during the quarantine.
Now, with the arrival of “This Far” — a career-spanning vinyl box set of all six of Sade’s studio albums — she is, to quote “Your Love Is King”, the ruler of my heart.
Yes, Sade is my boo.
How else to explain how she has wrapped me up in her tender, tranquilizing embrace when I desperately needed a hug — but social distancing was blocking any of that madness.
Beyond the hits — which have aged like a fine Beaujolais — digging into the deep cuts from 1984’s “Diamond Life”, 1985’s “Promise”, 1988’s “Stronger Than Pride”, 1992’s “Love Deluxe”, 2000’s “Lovers Rock” and “Soldier of Live” has been a soothing escape from the walls I’ve been climbing — and the craziness that’s been lurking all around.
There’s “I Will Be Your Friend” and “Sally” on “Diamond Life”, “Jezebel” and “Fear” on “Promise”, “Haunt Me” and “Keep Looking” on “Stronger Than Pride”, “I Couldn’t Love You More” and “Pearls” on “Love Deluxe.” There are songs like these on every Sade album that are like Xanax for the soul and spirit.
Of course, it would be sweet to have some new Sade music after all these years, so let’s keep hope alive. After all, she took 10 years between “Lovers Rock” and “Soldier of Love”, and eight years between “Love Deluxe” and “Lovers Rock.”
Clearly, she likes to take her sweet time, and if anyone is allowed to move at her own chill pace amidst all the stresses of the world, it’s Sade.