Volume 95, Issue 72

Friday, February 8, 2002

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Spicy pad Thai heats up the downtown core

InterVarsity Choral Festival prepares to hit the high note

Disc of the Week

This is Bad Taste, no literally - it sucks

Hoobastank crawls into sickly sweet pop

Boys cry, too, y'know

Disc of the Week

Lovers Live


There's just something about Sade.

Maybe it's her voice, the way she carries herself, the lyrics or her music. Despite the heartache and troubled times she sings about, the woman still manages to perform and make it seem easy – or at least not so bad.

On her live album, Lovers Live, Sade manages to translate some of her best songs into a live setting with the same emotional sincerity that has gained her popularity in years past.

The album features some of her hits, like "Smooth Operator," but it also includes a few of her lesser known songs.

For example, the simple, yet beautiful "The Sweetest Gift" is a suitable contrast to songs like "Paradise" – performed with heavier guitar – and the funkier "The Sweetest Taboo," which lends the album a healthy balance.

Fans are sometimes disappointed with live albums because it's hard to appreciate the music when it sounds like a studio album with cheering recorded over top.

Unfortunately, Sade falls into this trap a few times on Lovers Live.

"By Your Side," from her last studio album, Lovers Rock, is a fantastic song and perfectly demonstrates the compassion and sincerity that makes her music shine. While the song is still enjoyable on the live album, it lacks in comparison to the studio version.

However, Lovers Live tackles the issue of flow between tracks very well.

Live albums often end tracks with distracting fade-outs and fade-ins to satisfy editing needs, but this album – taken from two separate performances – creates the atmosphere of a single, cohesive live performance.

Every track segues nicely into the next and there's enough of Sade's in-between song banter to remind the listener it isn't a studio album.

At times, the volume of the audience flutters too high and one feels like the album is a bootleg instead of a legit live album, but don't let them deter you from enjoying Lovers Live because you know it's just jealousy.

It should have been you front row centre.

–Andrea Chiu

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