Origine du Groupe : France
Style : Electro , Downtempo , Trip Hop
Sortie : 1996
1. Gaze. 5:26
2. Softly softly. 4:29
3. Sensations. 4:29
4. Au natural. 4:14
5. Arabesque. 3:36
6. You will rise. 6:28
7. Chord. 3:30
8. Walk of Ju. 4:06
9. Hope she’ be happier. 6:16
10. Come dubbing. 4:41
11. Cloud people. 5:28
12. Powder. 5:21
Apparently fans aren’t the only ones getting tired of waiting for Sade to release another album: her band -keyboardist Andrew Hale, bassist Paul Denman, and guitar/sax man Stuart Matthewman,
collectively redubbed Sweetback- decides to burn a little creative energy between Miss Adu’s efforts, and the result is far more satisfying than you might expect. Instead of merely being an
instrumental Sade record, « Sweetback » is an exciting foray into a world where lounge meets electronica, ending up in places a Sade record will never take you.
Of course, the boys are quite used to backing a singer, so there’s no shortage of vocals onhand. Groove Theory alum Amel Larrieux lends some sexy, wordless vocals to the groovy etherealism of
« Gaze, » and offers a self-help lyric to « You Will Rise. » Leroy Osbourne, frequent background vocalist for Sade (most notably on « Never as Good as the First Time » and « Nothing Can Come Between
Us ») makes the most of his time in the spotlight here on a stunning rendition of Bill Withers’ « Hope She’ll Be Happier, » while rapper Bahamadia lays down a smooth spoken-word vibe on « Au
Natural. » And since Sweetback played a significant part of soul master Maxwell’s debut, it’s only natural he should lend a hand on the silky « Softly Softly, » a song he co-wrote with Mathewman and
offers the best elements of both Sweetback’s and Maxwell’s music.
But luckily, Sweetback doesn’t need a mouthpiece to shine. « Sensations » is a smooth retro number with a gently percolating beat, and « Arabesque » is all down-and-dirty seduction; the muffled,
sampled beat paired with heavy guitars is sexy as hell, and « Arabic synth » (as is credited, anyway) adds a unique twist. « Walk of Ju » mesmerizes between its sultry sax and World Music overtones,
while « Come Dubbing » offers a atmospheric cross between World Music and Trance at a mellow tempo.
In fact, only the last two numbers -« Cloud People » and « Powder »- are unnecessary exercises, plodding along with minimum melody and treading dangerously close to the realm of New Age wallpaper.
But the bulk of this record is as exciting and innovative as the band’s missing singer, and Sweetback proves they have enough atmosphere and style to last them between Sade releases…and
considering her recording timeline thus far, that’s a good thing.