Singing ever since the eighties, Sade’s voice melts this reviewer’s heart like warm butter. It’s a sign of a true musician that Nigerian-English singer Sade Adu and her band have endured three decades of the music business and continue to produce smooth, delicious jazz-influenced r&b/pop music.

Just one year after their six studio album Soldier of Love (their first album to contain new songs in almost ten years), Sade are back with The Ultimate Collection, their second greatest hits compilation, following the 1994 Best of. Released this May, the 29-track, two-disc album is testament to Sade’s extensive and impressive music career, containing many classics from the eighties and nineties such as restaurant and elevator favourites ‘Smooth Operator’ and 'No Ordinary Love '. The album also contains four new songs: ‘Love Is Found’, ‘I Would Never Have Guessed’, a cover of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Still in Love With You’ as well as a remix of ‘The Moon and The Sky’ that oddly features Jay-Z.

This is definitely an album that Sade fans will appreciate, with careful re-mastering of all the obvious hits, such as ‘Jezebel’, ‘Pearl’ and ‘Immigrant’, which in this reviewer’s opinion, are three of her most underrated and genius songs. It’s also interesting to note that lead singer Adu co-wrote every single song on the album except for the Thin Lizzy cover ‘Still in Love With You', which Sade sings with her trademark vulnerability, backed by a simple acoustic guitar and background choir vocals.

'The Moon and The Sky' Remix featuring Jay-Z is one of the few songs that doesn’t really work for this reviewer: the original track itself is quite powerful, but the remixed beat combined with Jay-Z’s hard rapping vocals feels like a weak attempt to be trendy at the expense of Sade’s smooth sophistication. The combination of Jay-Z’s toughness with her delicate vocals just doesn’t seem right to us.

‘By Your Side (Neptunes Remix)’ takes a perfectly great Sade song and adds the Neptunes’ trademark beats and synths to it. It’s an easily forgettable song, and thankfully the original ‘By Your Side’ is on the compilation; so skip to that and erase the former from your memory.

‘I Would Never Have Guessed’ is a haunting track backed by a hallow piano tune and a single backing vocal, as Sade does what she does best: tear at our heartstrings delicately with her magnificent voice.

Hands down, ‘Love is Found’ is the best new track, with a stirring orchestral intro that bursts suddenly into a heavy beat backed by an electrical guitar, bass and hand-claps that juxtapose nicely with her sweet, soft vocals. This is the track that we have on repeat all day long, and should definitely be one of the album’s hit singles.

How this band has lasted for three decades without world domination remains a total mystery to this reviewer; but then again, their timeless style and sophistication has helped them transition into the new decade seamlessly where other eighties bands like Duran Duran have crashed and burned a long time ago.