on 30 March 2001
Seal is a fantastic artist. I think he is very underated. This album took two years and 6 months to write and it shows. The amount of depth and accuracy with the instruments and vocals is astounding.
What an entrance to the album with "Bring it on". A fantastic start with great vocals and power. A great beat, which gets you going and puts some umpf in to your step. It's all about an introvert who is changing to become an extrovert.
The second song starts beautifully mellow and whisks you away to cloud 6. Once the beat gets going you will move on to Cloud 9. Seal sings this as if he is all the dying people in the world. Great vocals again.
The third song has a bit of a bassy beat which is fine because it relates to what the song is about. It is about someone that can never see things in reality and never understands the reason why.
The fourth song is about a man talking to his partner about the troubles throughout their life. Starts very mellow and builds up slowly to a fascinating vocal contribution.
The fifth song has a fascinating mix of instruments. It gels so well and has an air of retorical speech about it. Seal talks to himself in this and wants you to hear.
The sixth song is the Batman song, mind you if the song was not written for the movie then it still would have been a hit!
The seventh song is a ballad really. Fantastic piano playing at the beginning that gives the song definition. This leads to a song that is powerful about one question: "Why do people ask why?"
The eighth song is a bit more of a dance song that has a slower tempo than your average dance song. Talks about how a man is turning over a new leaf.
The ninth song sounds surreal. "If I could" is about a man that is trying to convince his friend that their war is over.
The tenth song is a new breath, new blood, wake up on the right side of the bed song. It gets you going for the day.
The last song is a reprise for the first. Very classily done!
Buy it! It's excellent.
on 11 November 2004
To most people,mention the name "Seal" & you are more or less guaranteed that two of his songs will be vaguely familiar ..."That Adamski Killer Thing!",& maybe even the single "Kiss from a rose"........
The latter features on this album & is an indication of the quality song writing that`s on offer with every track here.
This could have so easily been one of those album`s, that has one good song, (that was released as a single) & ten instantly forgettable other`s.
It is not.
This guy is good,..& I mean very,very,good.
Any band or solo artist of note,will,at some point,produce what is considered to be their seminal album,A time in their career when they are at their finest,& most inspired.
This documents that time for Seal.
It astounds me that this CD continues to be one of the best kept secret`s around.
Every home should have one!
This album, Seal's second, may be his best. The production work by Trevor Horn remains among his best work - the two artists seem designed to compliment each other.
It's a bit of a contradictory piece of work, though, because on the one hand you have lyrical whimsy which waftily alludes to drug-taking and paints Utopian dreamscapes - and on the other have po-faced social commentary, like "Prayer for the Dying". Would the real Seal please stand up?
I think he's the folky troubadour who got all danced-up by Mr Horn, first and foremost. Not that this is a dance album. Far from it. In fact there is very little here that is up-tempo.
What there is, though, is some really interesting song-writing, some great musicianship, first class production, and that velvet, beautiful vocal. It would be a fascinating thing indeed to hear what a different producer would do with his work over the course of a whole album.
My main gripe, and the thing which stops it getting 5 stars, is the fact that there are no individual great songs on it, for me. The album, as a homogenic whole, is a wonderful listen - but I don't always want to listen to a whole album, I sometimes want to cherry-pick a few tracks - and these don't seem to stand up to that too well. They're interesting, sure - but classic? There's no 'Crazy' on this album.
Having said that, my favourite track (though not quite classic) would have to be the duet with Joni Mitchell, "If I Could", which is beautifully realised - the two husky voices playing off each other to great effect.
As an album, then - fabulous. The tracks individually? Less so. The production? Pretty peerless. Recommended.
on 19 July 2004
This was the first album i ever brought. And i have only recently got into it again, but my gosh, what a true gem i've been missing out on for the last 10 years! "Don't cry" and "Prayer for the dying" are the stand out tracks. The instrumentation and orchestration are amazing. And the lyrics are really meaningful, something we all could learn something from! Magnificent!
on 12 September 2007
This album, Seal's best by far, is among my personal favourite albums of all time.
The songwriting is first-class and is bettered, perhaps, only by the production. Let me make this quite clear: the production on this album is on a par with any album *ever* in my opinion (yes, even Thriller). The way the (almost entirely acoustic) instruments play off against each other and complement Seal's wonderful, husky vocal is never anything less than perfection.
This is an almbum-listener's album; as other commentators have said, there is no individual 'stand out' track, but as a whole the album fits together perfectly and provides a beautiful, smooth, emotive and perfectly-paced musical journey.
Quite simply, a masterpiece.
on 11 November 2011
I have been aware of this album since the mid-90s but never got round to buying it. Being a big fan of the first album at the time, this one came as a bit of a disappointment when I first heard it, with few (if any) bombastic mega-hits other than Kiss From A Rose which, shock / horror, I don't like that much, and a samey-samey first impression of the songs included.
Kiss From A Rose was done to death, released as a single twice and only finally becoming successful through its inclusion on the Batman Forever soundtrack and has since gone stratospheric... but it still leaves me cold. Not a bad song, but just not my thing.
So I moved on and forgot about this album. Seal III (Human Being) came and went and flopped and I thought this was the end of Seal. (It should be noted that I still haven't heard this album, just the title song - this may become my next revelation, next year!)
Then Seal IV came out and I loved the lead single, Get It Together, and the whole retro / Motown vibe. The whole album is stunning. Seal was back.
Then, out of the blue, I recently (2011!!) stumbled upon the lead single for Seal II, Prayer for the Dying. I completely fell in love with that song and wondered how it had not impressed me back in the 90's. I still think this is one of the best Seal songs ever, with gorgeous Trevor Horn production, great musicianship... In my opinion, faultless.
The opening track, Bring It On, is also fabulous. Less of a 'good song' for a song's sake, but amazing groove and sound.
The whole album is like that: not immediate, mid-tempo, with a variety of songs that I could take or leave. However, the production is second to none. Trevor Horn at his best. Him and Seal, obsessing over this album and not letting it go until they were satisfied. Craziness but it pays off. Everything is thrown at this, different moods, orchestra, ethnic instruments, electronic pop-dance. It's all in there! Confusing maybe, but an amazing overall achievement.
on 19 September 2005
Bought this album from list of other Amazon users who rated it well. It was also very cheap so I thought worth a listen at that price. Turns out to be more than worth a listen. This is good stuff, word that springs to mind is quality. I will be buying some more 'Seal'.
on 16 November 1999
This is great dance floor music but also suitable for a relaxing time at home. British native Sealhenry Samuel with Nigerian/ Brazilian decent is sexy and sensitive as ever. He has that very fine sense of dynamics, richly evocative voice with suggests a mixture of Marvin Gaye and Milton Nascimento. I was given this album as a present and can highly recommend it to anyone who likes both, mysterious and intimate sounds. You will love it.
on 21 February 2014
It seems a very long time ago since I purchased this product and to be honest I cannot say that it has stayed in the memory especially, but I don't recall any issues with it.
on 23 December 2013
I love this album, Seal is very talented and this seems to be one of his best, with classics like 'kiss from the rose' and many other excellent ones!