The 10 Most Emotional Sade Songs

Elijah C. Watson Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When…

Earlier this year, Sade — the soul and quiet storm group led by Sade Adu — released their first new song in over seven years, “Flower of the Universe” from the A Wrinkle in Time soundtrack. Now, the beloved band will be releasing a new album in the foreseeable future.

“We’re working on a new album,” Stuart Matthewman, Sade’s longtime collaborator said in an interview with Rated R&B, adding that Sade and their creative team have “a bunch of songs.”

Although it’s unknown when the album will be released the news that Sade is working on a new album was well-received by fans across the world.

In honor of the news, I thought I’d highlight Sade’s best songs to cry to. Throughout her career, Sade has perfectly articulated love and its complexities. She’s known that vulnerability can not only be powerful but cool too. Through her music, it feels like fans have a shoulder to cry on — to cry tears of joy, anger, and sadness. It’s that relatability that makes her an icon and a cherished artist even to this day.

Grab a box of tissues and pop open that bottle of red wine — here are the 10 best Sade songs to cry to.

10. “Never as Good as the First Time”

Driven by one of the most memorable bass lines recorded for a Sade song, “Never as Good as the First Time” can be seen as celebration through heartbreak. Danceable and upbeat the instrumentation contrasts the track’s retrospective lyrics of a first love. When Sade sings “It’s never as good as the first time,” it feels like she means it. A declaration that’s a lot easier to accept when you can dance to it too.

9. “Somebody Already Broke My Heart”

“No, no I can’t go there again,” Sade sings on this song’s chorus. Opening yourself up to be loved again isn’t always easy, and this track perfectly captures the fear and hesitancy that comes with it.

8. “Nothing Can Come Between Us”

The highlight of this track is how the title becomes a mantra at the end, Sade declaring that nothing can come, tear, or pull her apart from her lover. The sentiment is just as beautiful as it is powerful, an acknowledgment of love’s challenges and the strength that comes with overcoming them.

7. “The Safest Place”

The closing track on Sade’s last album, Soldier of Love, “The Safest Place” is beautiful both for its instrumentation and lyrics. Acoustic guitar strums give way to orchestral strings, the bravado of it all complimenting Sade as she declares that her heart is so strong that not even someone from the depths of hell could break it. It’s an impenetrable fortress and she’s willing — wanting — to share it. Phew.

6. “Kiss of Life”

If Sade singing “When I lay eyes on you” only to not complete the sentence and start humming instead because she’s so in love with this person doesn’t bring tears to your eyes…you’re probably just fucking evil.

5. “The Sweetest Taboo”

Sensual and vulnerable, “The Sweetest Taboo” is the godmother of being in your feelings. The track feels like a third glass of wine when you’re saying shit to your lover that you know you probably shouldn’t say but you can’t stop yourself from saying it. It’s overwhelming — imagine someone telling you that you bring out the best in them and that you make them feel like Christmas. They’re simple declarations but they convey so damn much.

4. “Hang on to Your Love”

Similar to “Never as Good as the First Time,” “Hang on to Your Love” has an upbeat feel that contrasts the lyrics. Sade conveys a frustration in this track as she sings “In heaven’s name why do you play these games,” but wants to persevere through it all — even if her partner doesn’t seem to feel the same way. Maybe they’ll make it; maybe not. That uncertainty hangs over “Hang on to Your Love” and adds a melancholy that stays with you until the very end.

3. “No Ordinary Love”

“I gave you all the love I got/I gave you more than I could give.” This is how Sade starts off one of her saddest songs of all time. She gave and gave and gave, and he took and took and took. Even now, as their relationship has presumably come to an end, he’s taking. “Didn’t I give you/All that I’ve got to give, baby?” Sade croons in the track’s pre-chorus. It’s a question that punctuates her declarations — a sign that this love truly meant so much to her and still does.

2. “Is It A Crime”

Now I know what you’re thinking: “‘Is It A Crime’ over ‘No Ordinary Love?’ She literally says ‘I keep crying’ in the latter.” “No Ordinary Love” is obviously a tear-jerker but “Is It A Crime” is tragic. If anything it’s a sequel to “No Ordinary Love.” Sade couldn’t give one fuck that this man has lied to her or that he’s seeing someone else. Who else’s love is wider than the Victoria Lake or taller than the Empire State? No one but Sade’s. It’s a quiet storm diss track — the “Marvins Room” before “Marvins Room.” It’s the last attempt at salvaging something, or maybe the last attempt at feeling something that she’s so familiar with but knows it has come to an end. A sentiment that’s all too fucking real if you’ve ever experienced it before.

1. “Love Is Stronger Than Pride”

“Love Is Stronger Than Pride” is what it sounds like when you’ve risen above the bullshit. The “I’m good luv, enjoy” of Sade songs. She has accepted that this love she invested in has come to an end and that she still loves this person, but she has her own life to live. Accompanied by softly-strummed acoustic guitar and earthy sounds, Sade’s lyrics feel comforting and strong. “It’s all too clear things come and go,” she sings toward the end of the song. It’s that poignant clarity that captures what makes “Love Is Stronger Than Pride” so powerful — a triumphant cry of acceptance and moving on.

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