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System (Standard Version)

29 customer reviews

Price: £6.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Amazon's Seal Store

Music

Image of album by Seal

Photos

Image of Seal

Biography

‘Soul 2’ sees Seal joining forces once again with legendary producer Trevor Horn who shares production duties on the album with ‘Soul’ producer David Foster. This time Seal brings his silky, inimitable voice to a lush collection of romantic soul classics primarily from the ’70s, including those by Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, Al Green and Teddy ... Read more in Amazon's Seal Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Nov. 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: WARNER BROS
  • ASIN: B000TUXL34
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,863 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. "If It's In My Mind, It's On My Face"
2. Amazing
3. Just Like Before
4. Loaded
5. Wedding Day
6. System
7. Dumb
8. The Right Life
9. Rolling
10. Immaculate
11. Amazing

Product Description

Product Description

`System', with its shimmering melodies, glistening layers of synths and acoustic guitar, and supple, electronic beats, "is a return to my roots," Seal says. "I wanted to go back to the guitar, to the very first instrument I wrote `Crazy' and `Killer' on, and get back to the fundamentals of what I really love to do."

For what he calls a `quintessential Seal album', Seal opted to collaborate with Stuart Price, best known for his work on Madonna's `Confessions on a Dancefloor'. "It was quite evident from the first track that Stuart and I were on the same page," Seal says, "that I'd found someone who was able to elaborate on and execute my vision for this record. He loved the songs and I loved his production technique and we just took it from there. He's one of those rare people who plays instruments, understands music theory, and gets what a singer goes through when he is singing a song."

Indeed Seal's pure vocal gift -- his soaring baritone that has become a signature on such hits as `Kiss From a Rose', `Fly Like An Eagle' and `Get It Together' -- amplify the dreamy atmosphere on new tracks `Swoosh', `Amazing' and `Wedding Day', an emotional ballad Seal wrote the morning he wed supermodel Heidi Klum, with whom he has three children.

"Family, my wife and children, that's my reason for being," Seal says. "Everything is done with them in mind, so perhaps that's the reason this new album is up-tempo. It does feel like a celebration of life. I am finally in a content and happy place to the point where I feel like I need to sing about it. It's made me want to address things that are close to home. That's why the album is called `System.' It's saying that against the odds, we have chosen to take control of our emotional system. Not being a victim of a system that's already in place, but creating our own."

BBC Review

Seal appears to have gone back to his roots with his fifth studio album. For a change, this one isn't called Seal, but it does hark back to the best of his back-catalogue. System, his first studio album in four years, and the first without longtime producer Trevor Horn, is sure to please fans of his early work.

Heavy dance beats, and disco-tastic production come courtesy of the man behind the knob-twiddling on Madonna's Confessions On The Dance Floor, Stuart Price. His sure touch means high quality production throughout.

Seal still has a beautifully gravelly/smooth soul voice, which is somehow showcased rather than squandered when set against a pounding dance backing, and it lets him get away with some rather awful sentimentality on this album.

Lead single "Amazing" sounds as if it could have made its way onto Kylie's latest contribution, but the high standard of the production and Seal's seductive tones lifts it out of the ordinary. That said, the song is about on the same level as George Michael's recent offering of the same title.

Seal takes the risky and easy-to-ridicule step of duetting with wife Heidi Klum on "Wedding Day", which is, oooh surprise, about their wedding day. Klum doesn't do a hideous job, but her breathy, girly voice is dwarfed by the raspy, sexy tones of her other half. Lyrics that could have been written by the Sugarplum Fairy don't help, but if saccharine is your thing, then you'll love this change of pace.

"The Right Life" sounds like it was written to become an uplifting club favourite; whether it will make it is another matter. "Rolling", however, is another slow song, with Seal in more mellow form. With a lovely melody, and a smattering of strings, it is one of the best tracks on offer here.

There is nothing remarkable on System, nothing to bring in the unconvinced. But it is relatively consistent, easy on the ears, and may well get you dancing round the house, if not jumping up and down on the dance floor. --Helen Groom

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By MICHAEL ACUNA on 2 Dec. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Seal's recording career started with a Bang about 16 years ago with two terrific albums of music: startling, beautiful, stirringly sung Music. Music that touched you in places that Music seldom touches you...simultaneously on your mind, in your heart and in your soul.
Then there was a period of searching for a direction, "Human Being" and "Seal IV": both albums with several commendable songs but neither with the intense thought and musical follow-through of Seal's first two.
And now there is "System." From the very first sighs of "If it's in my mind, it's on my face," it is apparent that Seal is up to something different. His trademark voice, always perfectly in pitch, always big, always bold and masculine: "The time is now!..if I could fly I'd spread my wings and free you from these foolish things..." The arrangement is voluptuous with Bass and Strings and the beat dares you not to move out of your chair, whether that chair is in your dining room or in your car....and dance.
The signature song of "System" comes next and that is "Amazing" and indeed it is. In fact there are two versions of this song on this CD, one a remix by "The Thin White Duke" (Bowie maybe?) and there are two others that I know of: one by Kaskade and the other by Bill Hamel available elsewhere.
"Just Like Before," "The Right Life," "Loaded": all primo Seal...thoughtful, rough, truthful, one stronger than the former but all meshed together by the committed vocalizing by one of our premier singers.
"System" is in fact all about fun, about dancing, about Joy and mostly about shrugging off the BS of Life and moving your booty. Seal is obviously happy and wants to spread it around...and we're more than happy to accept his beneficence
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Carole Berg on 16 Nov. 2007
Format: Audio CD
After such a long wait for new album, it was definately worth the wait. Superb production, strong lyrics. This guys albums get better every time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Scorpiogenic on 4 Nov. 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is a great album! There's some fantastic tracks on here! Mostly dance tracks. Produced by the legendary Stuart Price who co-produced Madonna's mega hit "Confessions On A Dancefloor" album! The irony is that this is Seal's lowest selling album! Usually when critics say something is crap, it's actually good, and when something doesn't become too popular and mainstream, it's a secret gem.. For those of us clever enough to stumble across... This is one of those gems... Just buy it! :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robin Sk on 30 Nov. 2007
Format: Audio CD
ok first of all, my complaint :) why is EVERYONE talking about a return to his danceroots???? Seal never had a dance album before! His debut album hardly had 3 songs you can dance to, and the follow up hardly had 2, so are these danceroots? c'mon! Anyway, THIS is a fun dance album, and it tottaly sounds like Stuart Price has worked on it! If you like Madonna's Confessions, then you will like this too :) Stuart as a producer has already start to repeat himself but thats fun to listen to (for the time being hehe).. The album is like... take Confessions on a dancefloor, remove madonna's voice and put Seal on it, you will get a similar result. Weirdly, thats a good thing, i didnt expect this from Seal, i wouldnt expect him to fit on this so well either, so it was a veeeery pleasant surprise. tracks 1,4 and 8 are my favourite, and of course the single "amazing" is one of the best, bit i like the original version (i hate it when artist put remixes into the regular album). Welcome back Seal! Lets Dance! :)
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Format: Audio CD
"System" is Seal's fifth studio album and follows the critically acclaimed and very successful "Seal IV" released four years prior. Although this album has some very good songs, it is not as interesting and varied as its predecessor and therefore is a little one dimensional. Once you reach the mid section of the album, you stop to wonder if you have heard the track you have just listened to 10 minutes earlier. Luckily, all the songs are good, so that is not a major problem.

"If It's In My Mind, It's On My Face", the single "Amazing" and "Just Like Before" are very uplifting, upbeat and have that typical Seal sound, halfway between dance and pop with powerful vocals and a strong melody, but they all sound very similar. The following track "Loaded" has the same vibe as the previous tracks with the addition of string arrangements. "Wedding Day" has a more laid back feel and is an effective blend of folk and pop, although his wife Heidi's breathy vocals do not add to the song at all. "System" has a very infectious chorus and has a rockier edge than the other songs making it the best song on here. "Dumb" has a great guitar riff which makes this song much better than it would have been without it. "The Right Life" is back to the club vibe from the start of the album and is just as good. "Rolling" is not his best ballad, but it is certainly pleasant and "Immaculate" is a powerful pop rock track.

"System" is a solid and strong album, but it is not ground breaking and it does not push the boundaries of music. Seal has released more accomplished and original work in the past and this one is possibly a little too safe. Nevertheless, it is very good, as are all of his albums.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Canuck's Fan on 14 Nov. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Seal, what a voice. A genuine artist that I have admired for his entire career. Unfortunately, I find Trevor's absence to be painfully apparent. We all have people in life that bring the best out in us and Trevor Horn certainly did this for Seal. This album doesn't have the subtle beauty and feeling of his last album and unfortunately does not conjure the groove or excitement of a good dance album. None the less it is a pleasant enough listen but not one you would wear out....
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