12 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The fact that it's often identified as Seal’s darkest and moodiest album has obscured the lushness of 1998’s Human Being. Though it doesn’t have a breakout single on par with “Crazy” or “Kiss from a Rose,” it has the richest sound of any Seal album. “Human Beings,” “Latest Craze," and “Excerpt From” combine the qualities that defined Seal's earlier hits: specifically, the sweeping melodrama of “Kiss from a Rose” and the silken techno of “Crazy.” Those traits notwithstanding, Human Being also takes cues from rock. “Lost My Faith,” “Still Love Remains," and “No Easy Way” make it clear that Seal had studied Radiohead’s The Bends and OK Computer. Meanwhile, “Colour” presents a version of trip-hop that's smoother and more liquidy than the cavernous melodies of Portishead and Massive Attack. For all its modernism, the best moments on Human Being nod to the past. “When a Man Is Wrong” has the simple and sweetly confessional nature of a John Lennon tune, while the extraordinary “State of Grace” comes off like a fusion of Al Green and vintage Pink Floyd.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The fact that it's often identified as Seal’s darkest and moodiest album has obscured the lushness of 1998’s Human Being. Though it doesn’t have a breakout single on par with “Crazy” or “Kiss from a Rose,” it has the richest sound of any Seal album. “Human Beings,” “Latest Craze," and “Excerpt From” combine the qualities that defined Seal's earlier hits: specifically, the sweeping melodrama of “Kiss from a Rose” and the silken techno of “Crazy.” Those traits notwithstanding, Human Being also takes cues from rock. “Lost My Faith,” “Still Love Remains," and “No Easy Way” make it clear that Seal had studied Radiohead’s The Bends and OK Computer. Meanwhile, “Colour” presents a version of trip-hop that's smoother and more liquidy than the cavernous melodies of Portishead and Massive Attack. For all its modernism, the best moments on Human Being nod to the past. “When a Man Is Wrong” has the simple and sweetly confessional nature of a John Lennon tune, while the extraordinary “State of Grace” comes off like a fusion of Al Green and vintage Pink Floyd.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
54 Ratings

54 Ratings

Devil'sOpinion ,

Bleak Masterpiece Buried Beneath all the "Kiss from a Rose" Hoopla....

This was one of the most unexpectedly affecting--and infectious albums of 1998. Rarely have I worn a CD bare
to scratches, let alone repeatedly listened to the WHOLE THING...Seal's 'POP' venture that exploded with the "Kiss
from a Rose"/Batman juggernaut blinded many, MYSELF at least, and I dismissed him as becoming a studio-shaped
sort of pre-American Idol rather than a vital, raw voice, powerful, unique--here, lifted to the most angelic heights
with an orchestral score so lush that it perfectly cradles--never overpowers his vocals. The emotion in each song--
and, most impressively, the sheer arc of the album (you FEEL his journey, with even more clarity than, say Lauryn
Hill--not that he is any better) is staggering. Of particular excellence are the powerful opening track, the stirring
State of Grace, the devastatingly beautiful Just Like You Said, Lost My Faith, and Love Still Remains...and how he
uses the sum of the entire album to revisit the titular 'hymn' in track 12 is offbeat, surprising, a bit avant garde...
finally brilliant.

It may draw tears on a drizzly morning commute. It is a buried treasure, and he has since not dug to depths like
this (his hit single "Crazy," perhaps hinted at his ability to meld pop and a deft sort of inner-turmoil, though in a
cursory sense). HUMAN BEING is the real thing. Buy it. Keep it a secret. It changed the way I listen to albums now,
to be most blunt. Its fragility and nuance and craftsmanship are something to be cherished...and I hope that he
can find a way back to what he did here.... ~IS

Awsome A.J. ,

Seal's best album in my opinion!!

This album was panned by critics because of the dark moody feel it has. While it's a lot different from his previous 2 albums I have to say this is Seal's best album to date. Not that I hated his later material but this is an album that's hard to top. If not his best, it's also Seal's most personal album. Seal is a great songwriter and you can tell by listening to his lyrics. They deal with death, pain, suffering, broken relationships, and also learning from mistakes. Seal's vocals as always stand out. He's one of my all time favorite singers and songwriters. My favorite tracks on here have got to be the opening track, "Human Being" (which is supposedly written about the deaths of 2pac and Biggie), the mellow "state of grace" and also "When A Man is Wrong" "Lost My Faith" etc. This is a great album to listen to all the way through. It also ends pretty nicely with the "Human Being Reprise". Listening to that always makes me feel like that the credits of a movie about me are coming and that I move on to the future.

This is why I disagree with music critics a lot. They seem to compare this to his previous work. I look at it as a stand alone album and it works as one. This album is a masterpiece. The beautiful instruments, Seal's vocals, and songwriting, work perfectly. Even if you're not a Seal fan you won't be disappointed by this album so I really do recomend it.

samwisefan ,

Amazing

This is far & away Seal's BEST album. It's a crime that it's so underrated.

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