Sade is one of those artists (excuse me, BANDS) whose legend and mystery grows with each album. Folks who listened to good pop and R&B may have taken them for granted back in the day, but their extended absences from the music scene (and the fact that they just don’t make music like they used to anymore) have ultimately resulted in people appreciating them a lot more. Sade’s last album, 2000’s “Lovers Rock” went multi-platinum and won a couple of Grammys. It had been eight years since their last album. Now we’ve had to wait NINE (almost ten) years between follow-ups, and a new album is FINALLY scheduled for release in 2010.

The first single, “Soldier of Love” was released to radio and the web earlier this week. While I think it’s impossible for Sade to come out with anything that doesn’t sound sultry, this has a more aggressive musical vibe than most of their earlier material, no doubt goosed along by the “soldier”/military motif. I like it (although I think you could probably shave a minute or two off of the instrumental coda). It’s not total “OMIGOD SADE IMINLOVE!!!”, but I’m no less excited for the new album.

First Maxwell, now Sade. Can a new D’Angelo record be next?