Friday, February 12, 2010

Excited For Sadé!

Sometimes the smallest of things can really make you happy. I just found out on Billboard, that next week, the latest album of the band Sadé, 'Soldier Of Love' will take on the number one slot of the Billboard 200 album chart with a projected sale of 375,000 to 400,000 units.

I can't believe it, after 10 years of hibernation. I really thought that they are gone for good, until late last year when they released the single "Soldier Of Love", (which is also the name of their latest album), then I realized that they are really making a big comeback.

The song is out of this world, in my opinion. With the rolling drum beats, one can imagine a soldier marching to battle. The lyrics is equally incredible:

"I've lost the use of my heart, but I'm still alive. Still looking for the life. The endless pool on the other side, It's a wild wild west, I'm doing my best. / I'm at the borderline of my faith, I'm at the hinterland of my devotion, In the frontline of this battle of mine. But I'm still alive."

I had a chance to listen to most of the tracks of their latest album in You Tube. And it seems to me that the whole album revolves around western or country theme, like the track, "Long Hard Road", "The Safest Place", "Bring Me Home", "The Moon And The Sky", and "Morning Bird". Some of the tracks even have a country music quality to them, like "Be That Easy" and "In Another Time".

Aside from the title track, some of my favorites are "Skin" and of course "Babyfather", which I think is a little weird because it seems to have a Jamaican tune to it, a bit different with the rest of the tracks, but somehow it is still related. The song features Sadé Adu's daughter singing at the background. In general, I think the album has a lingering air of sadness, sincerity and love in it. And it's amazingly beautiful.

I've known Sadé's music since the 80's but I never realized that I was this crazy about them until around just 4 years ago. Ever since I heard their song "Smooth Operator" on the radio, I was so mesmerized by Sadé Adu's vocal style and of her sexy, smokey contralto voice.

One of the lines from the song goes; "Diamond life. Lover boy. We move in space with minimum waste, and maximum joy...", together with a samba sounding beat, the song was just amazing. The song was from the album 'Diamond Life'.

The first ever album of Sadé that I bought and may I also say one of my favorites was 'Love Deluxe' . The album was released in 1992. The photo of the lead singer Sadé Adu on the upper left of this post was the cover of the album. My most favorite songs in the album was "No Ordinary Love", "Feel No Pain" and "Pearls", although the other songs in the album were all fantastic.

Here's a short line from the song "Pearls", "She cries to the heaven above, there is a stone in my heart, she lives a life she didn't choose, and it hurts like brand new shoes. Hurts like brand new shoes."

I also have their 'Lovers Live' DVD. It was so great to see Sade doing her best, live. When I had my vacation last year, I remember playing that DVD over and over again while having a couple of beer and chicharones in front of the TV. Wow, That was great!

Their new single is currently number 1 on the Billboard Jazz chart, number 10 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-hop chart and number 80 on Bilboard Hot 100. The album 'Soldier Of Love' is only their 6th studio album. I can't wait to get their latest album!

Listen to Sade's other 'Soldier Of Love' album tracks.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What A Terrific Night It Was!

Last night was a blast! The 'Serenata' concert which was held at the American International School of Jeddah, (Friday, January 5, 2010) was so successful.

It was a bit disappointing though because Ms. Tina Monzon Palma, the Program Director of Bantay Bata 163 and Sagip Kapamilya of ABS-CBN foundation, didn't make it to the show due to immigration lapses at the Jeddah International Airport. But then before the show started, Ms. Palma made a call via phone patch from Doha, Qatar, and lamented at her disappointment for her not being on the event.

The show started with an invocation from a little girl singing a heart-warming piece. Then, the Serenata Children's Choir sang their first three consecutive songs, they were in Latin (The Music of Life, Jubilate Deo and Panis Angelicus). The choir's voices were like angels.

Then, they sang a couple of more songs, but when they get to the part when they sang "Seasons of Love", I really got excited, because it's one of my favorite songs. It's the soundtrack of the Broadway musical "RENT". I can't help but to sing along quietly with the choir. And who can forget that thunder and rain effect made by the choir and the guest performers in the song, "Listen to the Rain", the audience were perplexed and amused at the same time.

During the intermission, most of the people went outside to buy some food and drinks. There were a lot of food stalls outside from the sponsors of the event. It was a cold night, I was trembling while sipping my chocolate frappuccino.

The second part of the concert was equally amazing. I love the part when they sang the Disney soundtrack from the movie " Beauty and the Beast", "Aladdin" and The Little Mermaid". The "Blue suede Shoes" was also great.

Then it was the Serenata String Chamber Orchestra's turn during the third part of the concert. Their APO Hiking Society medley and the Beatles medley rendered me feeling nostalgic. I also love "My Favorite Things" from the musical, "Sound of Music".

In general, it was a great concert. When it was over, the sponsors of the event, Toyo and Indomie gave some giveaways to the concert-goers on exit. I just felt bad because I didn't get any photos. I didn't bring my camera because we were forewarned outside the gate not to bring any camera. To my disappointment, I saw a lot of people taking photos inside the concert hall. I thought I should have brought mine.

(This photo was courtesy of Mr. Nereus Jethro Abad. Proceeds of the Serenata concert will go to the four Filipino high school students for their college education through Bantay Edukasyon Program of Bantay Bata 163.)

After the concert...

After the concert, my fellow blogger Mr. Nereus Jethro Abad with four of his friends, invited me and my colleague for a dinner at Casper & Gambini's, we had a great time there.

The dinner was sumptuous, most of us preferred their popular bestseller, the Beef Tenderloin Steak with mashed potato, and myself opting for a glass of Carrot juice. The dessert was fabulous too, courtesy of our friend working at Casper & Gambini's, Mr. Jojo Borlaza. Though I was on a diet, who could resist Brownies, Raspberry Cheese Cake and Chocolate Cake? Damn it! It was really good.