Friday, August 3, 2012

Seal [1994]


One of the most criminally slept on and ignored albums of the 1990s, Seal's second self-titled album is a masterpiece in the genre of rhythm and blues. Though the album boasts Seal's biggest hit, "Kiss From A Rose," the album itself failed to garner much recognition because that particular single is first and best remembered as a song on the Batman Forever soundtrack. The album's other singles did little to pique listener interest and one of the most well crafted albums in recent history was swept under the rug.

Seal II is a seamless composition driven by poignant singing and poetic lyricism, all set to perfectly crafted instrumentation. Each song has its own feel and vibe, yet the lyrics and singing give the album a feel of wholeness and uniformity. The music varies with Seal's moods, each song's instrumentation remains soothing, patient and soft, yet all the while it is building toward a crescendo and crashing in time with the build of the lyrics toward choruses and conclusions. The instrumentation is also meticulously crafted to rise and fall in tune with the rise and fall in the tone of Seal's voice. The album is a perfect blend of musicianship and lyricism, a blend both made possible and complete through the vocals of a singer well in command of his voice. And that in particular is what separates Seal II from albums such as Voodoo: Seal can actually sing and enunciate with smooth calmness as well as with power and conviction.

Standout songs:

If you needed an album to start with when first gauging Seal's discography, this is the one to go with, as his debut album is more dance oriented and the follow up album is more pop-driven. That said, if you're a fan of rhythm and blues or classic soul, I highly recommend this album.

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"May love ever possess you, may peace come into your life."

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