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Nov 15th 2000

Sade - Lovers Rock: LP (Epic)


It's November 1992 and the anticipation weighs heavy in the air as I eagerly await the arrival of her latest effort. Sade is about to release her 4th album ' Love Deluxe ' after a 5 yr hiatus and she is the talk of the town. Much talk was made of whether she still had it then. Now it would seem that deja vu has resurfaced once again as 'the Lady' (as she is known to her adoring public) is set to brace the world once again.

7yrs has passed and life for the lady has not been kind, countless lawsuits (including a former drummer), a run in with the law, sickness in the family and the latest edition to her family (her daughter Ira), Sade was in no rush to get back to work but her fans were waiting, patiently wondering when she would return. Well wait no more the time has come Sade is back and once again gives us a set worth waiting for.

Lovers Rock is the 6th release for her label Epic (with whom she has been with for 16 years and counting) and it would seem that she has never left us. The introduction is the lead off single 'By your side ' a beautiful and taunting ballad married by moody acoustic guitar strings and low key bass. Next is 'Flow ' which can be summed up in one word - superb. 'King of Sorrow ' and 'Somebody already broke my heart ' follows suit and both possess the lady's distinctive style of quality and class. Equal to the task is the title track 'Lovers Rock ' which finds Sade's silky smooth voice in potent form as she caress the lyrics so sensually it's like a thief in the night you never knew were there.

'All about our Love ' the reggae/Lovers Rock influenced 'Slave Song ', 'The Sweetest Gift ', ' Every Word ', 'Immigrant ' and 'It's only love that gets you through rounds out the 11 song set and it's already destined to be a classic. Scheduled release date is Nov 13th in the UK and the 14th in the US. Do not walk, run to your nearest record store or shop and get this one its worth every penny. Definitely a classic Ty-D Pick.





Jamie Hawkins - Jamie Hawkins: LP (EastWest/Elektra)


Given who his mother is I was expecting an album filled with gods work and it was but for a totally different gender. Jamie's mother is gospel great Tramaine Hawkins and I thought that he would take his mum's path into the gospel whelm but not so as it would seem that Jamie wants to achieve his own identity in the music industry.

Already penning and producing hits for the likes of Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige and Destiny's Child Jamie has come to the forefront as the performer on this his self titled debut set for former Violator head Mona Scott new label Monami Entertainment. It begins with the debut single 'Lost my mind' a stunning R+B floor mover that's a refreshing removal from today's standard soul sound-a-like. Next we have 'You're the one for me ' a deliciously sexy ballad  telling the story of what you can get with that one true love. 'Tell me ' asks the age old question 'Do you love me?' 'Thought you should know ' showcases Jamie's range as a balladeer reminiscent of Howard Hewitt or Peabo Bryson. My personal favourite is 'More and more ' which does just that makes you want more and more as you listen.

Other notables include 'Next to you ' and 'Just Jamie '. This is a worthy set, worthy of your ears but unfortunately as past history would predict this one will most probably be overlooked by R+B/contemporary radio station formats across the states wake up will ya. Most definitely a Ty-D Pick







Michael Speaks - Praise at your own risk: LP (Epic)


It's been 5 yrs since we last heard from Michael Speaks with his debut set No Equal  (Mecca Don/Atlantic) giving us the gospel anthem 'Jesus is Real '.This time around Michael returns with a new album, new label and a new leash on the spoken word of God in the new gender known as R+P (Rhythm and Praise) 

The first single is the bouncy dance floor number 'I just wanna (dance now)  which offers 8 mixes on the 12". Michael's delivery is truly spiritual and uplifting, this one has radio written all over it. 

The album offers tracks that include "Jump," gospel/funk at its finest,  'Lord Of Life,' a reverent acknowledgment of God's gift of praise; and speaking of praise the title track 'Praise At Your Own Risk,' another crossover gem of substance and quality. 'Born Again ' has a hip hop-edged, big-beat while insuring the establishment of one's faith with the man upstairs while powerful vocals and strong production fuel 'Holding Up The Wall.' On 'Praise Your Problems Away,' the inspired voices of the All About Christ (AAC) Choir lend Speaks their support; 'Lord You're My Homie ' is a testament of unparallel love and loyalty for humanity's only unconditional and everlasting friend God.

This should be a welcome return to the forefront of R+P for Michael and one hopes that he shoots straight to the top where he belongs. A worthy Ty-D Pick




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