7 review by Seal

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  • Released: Nov 6, 2015
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 5.8 (16 votes)
Seal: 7

Sound — 9
From his first albums, through his famous "Human Being," to now, Seal has definitely done an amazing job of keeping his iconic sound alive, and never once did I doubt, just from the audio quality and instrumentation alone, that it was absolutely a Seal album. He used a large collection of instruments, many synthesized, and piano, which he used in a few of his more personal songs.

His vocals haven't lost their signature touch, either. You can tell that he's getting older, and he has to reach a bit more to hit those high notes, but he keeps everything musical, and for that I give him a lot of credit. I also don't feel like he's lowering the key of his songs to fit a lower vocal range, like a lot of artists do nowadays. His usage of fascinating and anti-pop chord progressions are wonderful, too. Can't get over the Am - Eb change he does in a couple bridges!

Lyrics — 8
He sings about a lot of the things he's always sang about: love, dancing, and life. Nothing wrong with that! He hits home a lot of the points he's trying to convey, and does so artistically. Maybe a couple lines are border-line corny, but I think he avoids most of the popular clichés that his peers tend to lean on. He's also a good text-painter. He talks about going into a different point in his life in the second bonus track ("Whatever You Want"), and changes keys dramatically to fit that change. I could expect no less lyrically from Seal than I got!

Overall Impression — 9
My favorite album from Seal is undoubtedly "Human Being," but granted I haven't heard everything from him. As a whole album, I'm very impressed and entranced by it, and have listened to it at least ten times.

My favorites: "Every Time I'm With You," "Life on the Dance Floor," "Padded Cell," "The Big Love Has Died," "Whatever You Need" (best track, in my opinion).

Needless to say, judging from how many "favorites" I have, I enjoyed the album as a whole, and it will stick with me for a long time. I would absolutely buy this again if it were to get stolen.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Very sadly, the man has destroyed his voice.
    What makes you say that? He sounds great on this album.
    I can't speak for that album. He must have had a problem though. In "Fly Like An Eagle" he really has to fight at the high parts.
    So, fighting the high parts on one song that was recorded/released some twenty years ago signifies a destroyed voice? There are many songs he has recorded since then with much more difficult high parts that he hits with ease. Seal has been known to sing himself ragged, or push his voice to the top of its register on purpose on occasion, simply because he likes the qualities it can bring to a recording. I wouldn't be at all surprised if "Fly Like An Eagle" were one of those recordings. This song, from the above reviewed album, shows what a strong voice Seal still has:
    If you think this is good, go listen to the first two albums he put out. They absolutely dwarf this. I'm a huge fan of artists that don't just regurgitate the exact same sound and song over and over, and write albums that differ from one another. That said, what ruins this album for me is that, like the last one, every single song is a love song.
    I don't think every single song is a love song. "Whatever You Need" smells like a love song, but its lyrics are actually about him not wanting to be with someone anymore, and that he 'wont be a better man'. I feel like Padded Cell is about him being used by people around him, and that he doesn't feel like he's really himself in there, but instead 'a million different people', all those that use him. Yes, his older material is fantastic, I've always had a fascination with his style. He does things with his melodies and harmonies that nobody else does, and I respect that. I think, standalone, this is a good-quality album. If everything he writes is about love, then that's just what he feels, and I wouldn't want him to write music that isn't what he really feels. In fact, Seal talks about a conversation that he had with someone on the liner notes to 7, saying something to the effect that if he let himself 'sell out' one time, and make something just because others would like it, and not because he liked it, he would be selling his soul, and I can appreciate that.
    While I agree that this album isn't as great as his earlier material it's pretty good for what it is. It's not that complex or full of surprises or thrills, but there's nothing wrong with it. Listenable, easy-going and pleasurable. The drum samples on several songs are distracting and annoying though, I must say.
    Because Seal totally plays guitar...