12 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The two underlying musical strands of Seal’s career are house music and R&B. So after returning to his club roots on 2007’s System, it was only natural for Seal to illuminate his R&B underpinnings on the follow-up, 2008’s Soul. In truth, it’s an album that Seal could have made at any point in his career, but he could now bring gravitas to the material. He does an incredible job on nearly unapproachable works like Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” and Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready.” Producer David Forster provides the songs' savvy arrangements, which are neither vacuously vintage nor schmaltzy. For a London gentleman who seems like the personification of international urbanity, Seal appears especially at home on soul tunes from the Deep South. Al Green has long been a dominant influence on his work, and Seal leans into “Here I Am (Come and Take Me)” and “I’m Still in Love with You” with an affectionate ease that can only come from years of familiarity. Soul manages to stay classy and clever without trivializing its source material. Even as he brings out the vintage essence of the songs, Seal finds a way to make them feel minty fresh.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The two underlying musical strands of Seal’s career are house music and R&B. So after returning to his club roots on 2007’s System, it was only natural for Seal to illuminate his R&B underpinnings on the follow-up, 2008’s Soul. In truth, it’s an album that Seal could have made at any point in his career, but he could now bring gravitas to the material. He does an incredible job on nearly unapproachable works like Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” and Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready.” Producer David Forster provides the songs' savvy arrangements, which are neither vacuously vintage nor schmaltzy. For a London gentleman who seems like the personification of international urbanity, Seal appears especially at home on soul tunes from the Deep South. Al Green has long been a dominant influence on his work, and Seal leans into “Here I Am (Come and Take Me)” and “I’m Still in Love with You” with an affectionate ease that can only come from years of familiarity. Soul manages to stay classy and clever without trivializing its source material. Even as he brings out the vintage essence of the songs, Seal finds a way to make them feel minty fresh.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
349 Ratings

349 Ratings

WillieJG ,

From Seal's Soul

I was rather surprised to learn that Seal had released a new album; he had just released System the year before. He usually waits at least three years between outings.
The concept of doing songs from the '60's era is nothing new (as a matter of fact, Raphael Saadiq has just released an album featuring music from the same period). Seal, while updating the sound ever so slightly, keeps the music true to emotion. It's soulful and evocative. Give it a listen before writing this one off.

MAX Social Light ,

A great compilation!

It's a great time for Seal to release this CD. "A Change is Gonna Come" signifies our historic event of the election of Barack Obama. It's delivered with such passion that it moves one to believe there is hope for change in these trying times. The younger generation may not think it great...it is not rap, emo, grunge, alternative, Garage Band, You Tube, Myspace, Reverberation or out of the box music. It is not geared to the Starbucks crowd (where did that come from?), but they will certainly embrace it. For those that enjoy classic Soul and R&B, this one is for you. Nice job Seal. Keep them coming.

Jimbo-J ,

Change Is Good

Rough crowd. I don't see anything wrong with changing it up a bit. Seal has the perfect voice for duplicating these songs from the 60's. I, personally, like the change of pace for Seal and would recommend it to others.

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