27 Songs, 2 Hours 10 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Seal never really established a single definitive sound. The thread that ties his almost twenty-year career together is surely his voice. Breathy but not husky, sensitive but not sentimental, it often feels like a masculine equivalent to Sade’s mysterious coo. The various soundscapes that appear on this greatest hits collection are mostly the work of songwriter and producer Trevor Horn, whose extended collaboration with Seal is unique in a career defined by one-off projects for everyone from Yes to Pet Shop Boys to Belle & Sebastian. Horn is responsible for “Crazy” and “Kiss From a Rose,” Seal’s two most memorable songs — the first a hypnotic house-inflected tune in which Seal’s voice blends completely within the contours of the music, while the latter is a stately and ornately orchestrated ballad that won Horn and Seal a Grammy award in 1996. But the most welcome surprise of Best, 1991-2004 is its covers. Seal turns Steve Miller’s “Fly Like An Eagle” into a sequel to “Crazy,” while “Walk On By” remains moody and bluesy beneath a techno beat. Some Best Ofs suffer from jarring diversity, but Best, 1991-2004 makes an asset of its varied terrain. Its multi-layered playlist goes to show that all Seal has to do to make a song his is sing on it.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Seal never really established a single definitive sound. The thread that ties his almost twenty-year career together is surely his voice. Breathy but not husky, sensitive but not sentimental, it often feels like a masculine equivalent to Sade’s mysterious coo. The various soundscapes that appear on this greatest hits collection are mostly the work of songwriter and producer Trevor Horn, whose extended collaboration with Seal is unique in a career defined by one-off projects for everyone from Yes to Pet Shop Boys to Belle & Sebastian. Horn is responsible for “Crazy” and “Kiss From a Rose,” Seal’s two most memorable songs — the first a hypnotic house-inflected tune in which Seal’s voice blends completely within the contours of the music, while the latter is a stately and ornately orchestrated ballad that won Horn and Seal a Grammy award in 1996. But the most welcome surprise of Best, 1991-2004 is its covers. Seal turns Steve Miller’s “Fly Like An Eagle” into a sequel to “Crazy,” while “Walk On By” remains moody and bluesy beneath a techno beat. Some Best Ofs suffer from jarring diversity, but Best, 1991-2004 makes an asset of its varied terrain. Its multi-layered playlist goes to show that all Seal has to do to make a song his is sing on it.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
192 Ratings

192 Ratings

Agent_Summer ,

Do yourself a favor...

Buy this album instead of the regular version! It's packed with amazing acoustic versions that are a must for any fan! If you're looking to download only the stuff you've heard on the radio, this is probably a bit much for you. I almost made the mistake of buying the other version, which I would have really enjoyed, but I would have missed out on some great and enjoyable versions of my favorite songs. The decision is yours, but I recommend this version!

freeinsantee ,

If you like Seal, this is a Must!

I heard the acoustic versions on my local jazz station and had to get this album. It's fabulous and every song is wonderful. Definitely worth it to buy the whole album.

crunchy cookie ,

More than a Benetton commercial with a martini or two.

The 'ol Crunchy Cookie is not a big Seal fan but take my trusted advice on "Love's Divine" acoustic version. This naked version of a big hit will find a special place on your playlist. Seal's music and voice always seem to convey unity and transparency. His lyrics also suggest that redemption is a large part of his influences. With that said, the acoustic version of "Love's Divine's" is arguably one of the most redeeming popular songs of our time. And dear fans, that's coming right from the heart. Look for my other reviews on i tunes.

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