It is a little too easy to forget just how good many of Seal's single releases have been. The 4 most remembered,( 'Kiss from a rose', 'Killer', 'Crazy' & 'Fly like an eagle'), are all just thrown together here early on which gives a good indication of how strong the remaining material is thought to be. Listening to these early releases again it comes as quite a surprise just how fresh they still sound. I thought 'Killer' would be a bit dated but instead it is still edgy and relevant.
Later on the often forgotten 'Future love paradise' again reaffirms just why Seal has been so popular. His voice demands attention and whatever song you choose to listen to here his voice is unmistakable and unrestrained. In truth I felt that the fact his voice is so unique and easily recognised would mean that this best of would all just blend into one but in truth he tackles a wide variety of styles and succeeds more often than not. There are one or two rather bland ballads,( 'Get it together' & 'The right life' in particular), which do little for me personally but these are exceptions in this collection.
Variety makes this album work with tracks like 'Loves divine' which is a moody, slow & touching torch song and 'Dont cry' which goes a long way to highlighting just how beautiful and delicate this mans voice can be. There are also a great funky rendition of Ann Peebles 'I can't stand the rain' all growly voiced and a fun disco funk style 'Thank you'.
I had thought that he worked best with the wall of sound that synth lends to his tracks but this collection changed my mind as it's with his great covers of soul classics that Seal really digs even deeper than usual to produce some excellent work. In particular Sam Cooke's 'A change is gonna come'. He challenges the real lack of change seen in the 45 years since Cooke first released this track with heartfelt soul that reaches great depths. So too on James Brown's 'It's a man's man's man's world' he gets to the true soul of the 'godfathers' original, adds his own feelings and makes for a real standout track that shines a spotlight on this excellent singers vocal ability.
The mastering is good and at this very reasonable price,(there is a larger special edition which is really for the fans only), you really should give this a try.
A very solid collection that surprises, pleases and demands to be replayed.