Apple Music 100 Best Albums

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Love Deluxe



Impossibly lush and impossibly rich, an exercise in pure immersion.

Sade’s revelatory fourth album Love Deluxe is an exercise in pure immersion, beginning with the opening bassline of the immortal “No Ordinary Love.” Its nine songs represent rich-sounding music that, in less capable hands, would risk becoming totally overwhelming. Just as the smash debut Diamond Life arrived at the peak of quiet storm’s popularity in the mid-1980s, the slinky dub and drum machines of Love Deluxe coincided with trip-hop’s emergence in the early 1990s, sharing ostensible shelf space and musical DNA with Massive Attack’s monumental 1991 debut Blue Lines.

“[They] made so many great records, and when you go back and revisit them—pure class, pure beauty.”

Elton John

Where trip-hop is regularly associated with haze and obfuscation, Sade couldn’t be clearer, from the impossibly lush and cavernous “I Couldn’t Love You More” to the closing instrumental “Mermaid.” Singer Sade Adu has fittingly described Love Deluxe as a reflection of the search for the ultimate unattainable luxury: You can buy any kind of love, but you can’t get love deluxe. That Sade took an extended hiatus after the album’s release has only added to its weight and legend.