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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Album Of The Year
Seal is not known for singing traditional soul music, and there is no reason why he should. Then again this album shows that he can!!

You may have heard his version of Sam Cooke's 'A Change Is Gonna Come' on Radio 2. The rest of the album sounds firmly up to that standard. After a couple of plays, my faves are the two Al Green hits. The plaintive Memphis...
Published on 4 Nov 2008 by David R. Bishop

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars PLEASE listen to the original versions of these songs
Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, James Brown, Al Green, Ben E King, Curtis Mayfield... obviously these names belong on every list of great artists. And I'm a firm believer that songs by such artists should be left well alone, because it's almost impossible to do them justice and match the original versions. So how does Seal fare here - can he change my mind?

Well he...
Published on 18 Sep 2012 by A long term FM fan


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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Album Of The Year, 4 Nov 2008
By 
David R. Bishop "Bishbaby" (Plymouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Soul (Audio CD)
Seal is not known for singing traditional soul music, and there is no reason why he should. Then again this album shows that he can!!

You may have heard his version of Sam Cooke's 'A Change Is Gonna Come' on Radio 2. The rest of the album sounds firmly up to that standard. After a couple of plays, my faves are the two Al Green hits. The plaintive Memphis style horns really get me where I live. The two Impressions' numbers sound really noteworthy too, especially 'It's Alright', a song that is always guarenteed to cheer me up.

If I have any problem with this album, that would be the length. Less than 46 minutes seems a bit mean these days. Better 46 minutes of pure magic though, than 70 minutes of pure dross.

Seal, you have gone up in my estimation. I would buy an album of this calibre every week if it was available.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smoother than smooth, 1 Nov 2008
By 
Gl Hughes (huddersfield) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Soul (Audio CD)
Fabulous cover album straight covers but with a modern production
great selection of songs all stone cold classics and the man seal amazing voices guaranteed to sell by the bucketloads at xmas
best tracks people get ready and a change is gonna come
deucted one star as it would have been nice to have seen a copuple of less obvious soul choices
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive!, 26 Feb 2009
This review is from: Soul (Audio CD)
I bought this just before Xmas, and have listened to it a number of times now - its one of those albums that just smooths past you, and the time goes without you realising. We played this as 'background' when friends were over, and ended up turning it up so they could listen to it properly, and theyve ended up buying it too... I find it a very satisfying album to listen to, and if he made 'Soul II' Id buy it tomorrow!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SEAL ( of ) APPROVAL, 3 Jan 2009
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Soul (Audio CD)
Since his first noticeable appearance in the listening world, circa 1991, The Wolf
has long held a quiet ambivalence with regard to Mr Seal (nee Samuel).

My first encounter with the man and his music took place in the dark bowels
of a nightclub of low repute in Toulouse where, upon a large screen, I became
an accidental witness to the video accompanying his debut single 'Crazy'.
It made me sit up and take notice - probably a wise choice given the prevailing
circumstances - all those misappropriated white birds fluttering around the
striking young man in the long ( and coveted ) black leather coat. With that husky,
powerful voice and wild hair he was a captivating and exciting presence.

What followed between then and now has always seemed, to me, to be a
bit of a hit and miss affair.
Mr Seal has his supporters, no doubt, and I would not wish to offend them
but each and every one of his releases ( and I have listened to them all )
have displayed huge inconsistencies in quality of both writing and performance.
To be sure every album has had two or three very strong songs but for the rest things
skate too close to the middle of the road to have been wholly convincing and satisfying.

Then along came 'Soul'.

This was the album Mr Seal was born to make.

The twelve songs in this project display a consummate and quite exemplary artistry.

The voice has matured into a powerfully expressive instrument which redefines
each and every one of these great songs - and what a collection it is!

From the pure falsetto moments on 'I Can't Stand The Rain'; through the rasping
delights of "Knock On Wood', to the elemental beauty of 'If You Don't Know Me By Now'
and 'I've Been Loving You Too Long', Mr Seal is in complete command of his materials.

'Free' is a surprising and wonderfully realized inclusion and my own particular favorite.

Production by Mr Foster also deserves strong applause.
The orchestral and horn arrangements in particular are stupendous.

Mr Seal is, here, a very fine singer, firing on all six cylinders and at the very height of his powers.

Highly Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seal has done it again, 25 Dec 2008
This review is from: Soul (Audio CD)
Seal has created a great album with fantastic interpretations of great classics, masterfully produced by David Foster.

Seal has, yet again, showed his great musical capability and talent.
With his "sand paper" voice and unique sound he has created some of the best versions of these classics and in some cases comparable with the originals themselves.
The originals are and will remain true classics, greats by themselves and unsurpassed by cover versions but Seal brings something different to the tunes, adding his own twist. My personal favorites are "I can't stand the rain" and "If you don't know me by now", two songs that must be some of the most copied songs throughout music history but on this record are truly awesome and will go down in history as some of the best covers. Just these two versions alone are worth the price of the record.
Seal isn't competing against the originals, he is interpreting and adding his own soul to the music. The challenge, rather, is against all those other covers out there and here he clearly shines.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic production, great songs and a great singer - what more could you wish for?, 16 Nov 2008
By 
Jimbo "Jimbo L" (Manchester) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Soul (Audio CD)
Seal has a great voice, very soulful and lovely to listen to, so to produce an album of soul classics seems a natural progression. The choice of songs is great - most are very well known with a few not so well known to tempt you to listen to the original artists.
Seal manages to cover all the tracks with great aplomb, my personal favourite being 'People Get Ready'. The production is slick but not over the top and the music is great, a great Sunday afternoon easy listener or a dinner party conversation piece.
Well done Seal, the addition of Barrack Obama's 'A Change Is Gonna Come' is welcome (performed originally by Sam Cooke, not Obama - it was one of the songs he used for his campaign!).
All in all, a great record and one that should be applauded for all the right reasons. This is a cracking Christmas present for anyone with a taste in good music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars PLEASE listen to the original versions of these songs, 18 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Soul (Audio CD)
Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, James Brown, Al Green, Ben E King, Curtis Mayfield... obviously these names belong on every list of great artists. And I'm a firm believer that songs by such artists should be left well alone, because it's almost impossible to do them justice and match the original versions. So how does Seal fare here - can he change my mind?

Well he does have a good and fairly distinctive voice but, overall, I'd have to say he comes up short on this album - despite some valiant efforts. However, "Soul" is considerably better than some other albums of soul/motown covers (yes, Mr P Collins, I'm "looking back" at you and your dismal attempt; you too Ms J Osbourne).

To my ears, many of Seal's versions of these classics are a little one-dimensional & very much over-produced. Furthermore, too often the raw passion or vibrancy which defined the originals is missing, making them sound bland in comparison. Sadly this collection is more soulful pop than genuine soul.

They ARE still great songs though and if you're unfamiliar with any of the original versions, do yourself a favour and look them up: I guarantee you won't be disappointed - and you may not play this CD again either.

Overall then this is far from essential and no-one's life will be poorer for not hearing these versions - but it is quite listenable, especially if for some reason you don't have the original versions to hand. So it gets 3-stars... but this is as much for the possibility that it may introduce a new generation of listeners to the world of REAL soul music as for the content. Well I can dream can't I?

For those people who did enjoy this album - if there are any of you still reading - I would recommend Mica Paris' Soul Classics, which is for me the best album of covers of classic soul tracks by a contemporary artist. The production is often slightly stripped back and the overall sound is more authentic 60s/70s, while the fact that she's a female singing songs that were mostly recorded by males means that direct comparisons with the originals are harder to make... which is a plus point in my book with covers albums of this kind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Rated Album, 27 Dec 2008
By 
This review is from: Soul (Audio CD)
I remember Seal from way way back (not divulging my age) and was glad to get the free disc a while back in a paper. When I learnt of this new album, Christmas couldn't come quick enough.
Yes, it is a bit of a 'covers' album but boy does his voice suit them, Seal's voice has certainly come of age. His rendition of the tracks is simply enjoyable. My daughter knows my taste in music and thankfully knew I would hate to have missed this fantastic Soul album.
This seems a natural road for Seal, perhaps his residence in the USA for almost 20 years has something to do with it. It is an album I would definitly recomend, as great for relaxing on those lazy days.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent album, 11 Jan 2009
By 
gbenquiries (Chelmsford, Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Soul (Audio CD)
There is a one star review here accusing Seal of over indulgence. Not so in my view. There is a lot of respect evident here. In fact, heretical though it might be, Seal's version of Change Gonna Come and It's a Man's World are marginally better than the originals in my view. Seal takes original arrangements and adds subtle but superb tweaks to the arrangements - listen to the strings on the two covers I mention and I hope you will see what I mean. And his voice is fantastic.

Overall, a superb album. Look forward to Soul II please!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great songs sung brilliantly and all on one album. I love it, 22 April 2009
By 
Dr. G. Austin "Graham Austin" (Black Country UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Soul (Audio CD)
I loved Seal's version of A Change is Gonna Come and I love the choice of songs on the rest of the album. All the vocals are great - no gimmicks or radical arrangements which would jar with the memory of these much loved classics just excellent soulful singing by a very talented bloke. A great homage to past genius. My personal highlight is Michael Thompson's guitar on People Get Ready.
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Soul by Seal (Audio CD - 2008)
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