By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 22, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Lots of good stuff has arrived in recent weeks and here are some thoughts on some great music -- both new and old ...

Sade -- Soldier of Love (Epic)
The gulf between Sade records gets wider and wider with each release it seems and it's been, like, a decade since the awesome "Lovers Rock." What I love about them, though, is my initial reaction, which is, "it took (insert number here) years to make this? It's the same record!" But, then I compare it and I realize that they don't all sound alike, but, rather, they seem to progress so logically that you're fooled into thinking each new one sounds like its predecessor. Like the ones that came before, "Soldier of Love" is the perfect mix of what we've come to expect from Sade -- smooth, melodic, soul jazz pop -- with contemporary touches.

When she first arrived on the U.K. scene alongside fellow travelers like Working Week, Everything But the Girl and, to some extent, The Style Council, her songs focused more on the top and less on the bottom. But, especially since the sublime "Love Deluxe" -- and to great effect on "Lovers Rock" and here" -- Sade and her band have added some great heft to the rhythm section and you need only hear the title track here to see what I mean, with its cracking snare smack, military snare flourishes and deep thud on the one.

She's not a revolutionary ground-breaker, but nor is she flavor of the day. Sade is, above all, consistent and knows how to create anticipation.

Henry Junjo Lawes Volcano Eruption (17 North Parade)
Two CDs and a DVD with a great documentary and other features highlight the golden age of producer Junjo Lawes' supremacy in the Jamaican dancehall. Disc one features singers and disc two DJs. Popping in the first one, I was transported back in time and as each of the 20 tracks unfolded, so did my youth.

I remember hearing Gil Bailey play John Holt's incendiary "Police in Helicopter" and Hugh Mundell's deadly "Jacqueline" on WHBI in New York and I remember calling Gil to request Linval Thompson's "Look How Me Sexy." I remember buying Don Carlos' "Hog & Goat" on Volcano 7" 45 at Cool Runnings on 2nd Avenue (although the label called it "Soldier Man A Come" -- I still have it, of course).

I remember buying 12"s of Frankie Paul's "Worries in the Dance" and "Pass the Tu Sheng Peng" at Nigel Scott's Tropical Records not long after arriving in Milwaukee and then playing them on the juke box at the Caribbean Inn.

Hit the 20 DJ slabs on disc two and find Nicodemus' "Boneman Connection" (once, from the other room, my mom heard it and commented, "you've got to be kidding me!") and Johnny Ringo's live "Flash It Inna," which I could sing for you, if you want, though there's one or two lines I can't bring myself to say. As you can see, this is my oldies music. I can't recommend this set enough.

Massive Attack -- Heligoland (Virgin)
I keep waiting for Bristol's best to move me the way they did on their first two LPs, and it never seems to happen. The records have been good, don't get me wrong, but they've moved away from any hint of pop that may have existed when the likes of Tracey Thorn were voicing them. This one has grabbed more than any of the more recent examples. I love the dark vibe of "Pray for Rain" and the frenetic quality of "Babel" with Martina Topley-Bird's vocal and "Girl I Love You," with the inimitable Horace Andy. "Paradise Circus" -- with Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star on vocals -- is dubby pop goodness. I just may be hooked again.

Various Artists -- Covers for Reggae Lovers (VP) & Songs For Reggae Lovers Vol. 3 (Greensleeves)
These are great comps for parties, especially ones with lots of Champagne and very low lighting. The first pairs great reggae talent from across the years -- rock steady star Winston Francis, '70s lover's rock singer Janet Kay, original Third World singer Prilly Hamilton, '80s dancehall singer Sanchez and Luciano, who arrived on the scene in the '90s, along with new blood like Tarrus Riley and Jamelody. But this is pretty smooth music and based on some often schmaltzy material, so it's not to everyone's tastes, certainly. I adore Luciano, but do I need to hear him singing Kenny Rogers' "Through the Years"? You already know the answer.

The second set -- a double CD with material from more varied sources -- fares better thanks to tracks like Sugar Minott's "Good Thing Going," Frankie Paul's "Sara," Freddie McGregor's cover of "Let Him Try," Dennis Brown's "Love Will Find a Way," Luciano's "Shake It Up Tonight" and John Holt's "Ghetto Queen." If you really wanna get the Valentine's Day party started, choose this one, selecta.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.