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Pop - Released June 11, 1991 | Warner Records

London singer/songwriter Seal certainly made a name for himself with his eponymous debut despite the comparison to fellow London mate, the raspy soul Terence Trent D'Arby. But Seal is more relaxed, and his craftsmanship is delicate and well defined. Lyrical depictions are light, songwriting is personal, and production credits are most impressive. With star-studded work from both Trevor Horn (Tina Turner, the Art of Noise, Rod Stewart) and Trevor Rabin (Yes, John Miles), Seal is surely a critical hit. Becoming a mainstream radio mainstay for the summer of 1991, the single "Crazy" carried heavy notoriety for Seal and instantly made him a household name. His collaborative effort with Adamski for "Killer" was a massive club hit thanks to its Hi-NRG strength, but house elements are showcased other album tracks such as "The Beginning." Seal is not necessarily a dance innovator, but he makes for a select crossover artist with impeccable talent worthy of heavy acclamation and critical recognition. The general mood captured on his debut album is refreshing for the early-'90s mediocrity of post-hair metal and manufactured synth bands. His music was a major force throughout the decade and well into the new millennium. With Trevor Horn at his side, it's undeniable. Together they go for exactly what Seal is looking for: the beauty, desire, and simplicity in creating a new sound. Seal is the face and Horn is the face behind it all. © MacKenzie Wilson /TiVo
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Soul - Released May 31, 1994 | Warner Records

Fresh from his 1991 self-titled debut, Seal followed with another self-titled release. And true to form, it's another stunning work, although it becomes clear that a musical maturation has taken place. Produced by ex-Buggles frontman Trevor Horn (Pet Shop Boys, ABC, Yes, Frankie Goes to Hollywood), Seal is far more enchanting than his debut. True, Seal is a bit too relaxed at times, but aside from that criticism, the record is lush with harmonies and over-the-top melodies. "Don't Cry" flows with the luxuriant vibes of a hushed vocal and a bellowing string arrangement. Seal showcases his collaborative talent with "If I Could," a duet featuring Canadian folkie Joni Mitchell. "Kiss from a Rose" and "Prayer for the Dying" established Seal as a household name after both became radio and television mainstays. The soul is there, hauntingly similar to singer Terence Trent D'Arby. But what's so unique about Seal is his gift of transforming free-flowing songs into quick dancefloor tracks with a transcendent step into musical magic. His voice has a spell like that, and his second album reflects such skills. © MacKenzie Wilson /TiVo
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Soul - Released November 17, 1998 | Warner Records

U.K. pop sensation Seal has become notorious for taking extended breaks between albums (usually up to four years). On his third album, Human Being, producer Trevor Horn again joins Seal, and as on his past releases, life's trials and tribulations are used as the basis for the song's subject matter and lyrics (broken relationships, death, etc.). Horn again helps Seal achieve an unbelievably sonically rich album -- with each listen, you hear something you didn't before. The moderately paced, grooving opening track, "Human Beings," merges Seal's trademark soothing and crooned vocals with lyrics that deal with the highly publicized deaths of gangsta rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G.. Directly after, three instant Seal classics follow -- the gentle "State of Grace" and "Just Like You," plus the dance-rocker "Latest Craze." Other highlights include the ethereal beauty of "Still Love Remains," the gradually building "Excerpt From," and the moving "Colour." Although Seal fans might grow impatient with such long breaks between albums, the pop perfection of Human Being turns out to be well worth the wait. © Greg Prato /TiVo
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Pop - Released July 1, 2003 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released July 29, 2003 | Sire - Warner Records

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Pop - Released August 5, 2003 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released August 12, 2003 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released August 12, 2003 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released August 19, 2003 | Warner Records

This EP explores the full range of Seal's talents, and might even be worth considering as a second Seal purchase. There are a few versions of "Killer," including a clubby Trevor Horn remix that highlights Seal's tendency towards dance-pop. There is also a live version of the single, followed by a cover of "Hey Joe." It is not as strong as his version of "Manic Depression" that appeared on the Stone Free Jimi Hendrix tribute album, but it does remind the listener of the debt that Seal constantly acknowledges to Hendrix. The real gem of the EP is the non-album track, "Come See What Love Has Done." For those who love the ballads on his second album, this song completely anticipates the direction that he took. Unfortunately, he took it too far for his third album, and certainly, this EP should be purchased before suffering the mellow bubblegum of Human Being. © Joshua David Shanker /TiVo
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Pop - Released August 19, 2003 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released August 19, 2003 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released September 2, 2003 | Warner Records

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Soul - Released September 9, 2003 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released September 30, 2003 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released November 18, 2003 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released January 6, 2004 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released October 26, 2004 | Warner Records

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Soul - Released November 8, 2004 | Warner Records

Reusing the cover from his 1994 self-titled release -- as opposed to his 1991 or 2003 self-titled release -- makes Seal's discography all the more confusing, but that's the only mistake made on this glorious collection. Seal's partnership with producer Trevor Horn has yielded some of the most elegantly soulful and richly textured pop music of the preceding 20 years. Best: 1991-2004 picks and chooses from their output perfectly, orders it in a way that makes sense, and remembers a couple compilation and soundtrack appearances to make itself worthwhile for Seal's faithful. If you've owned a radio at sometime in the past two decades, a quarter of the disc will be familiar. But radio's compressed delivery of "Crazy," "Kiss From a Rose," and others don't do these grand songs justice; plus, anytime you can put a Trevor Horn production on the headphones is a rewarding experience. The songs from the lesser Seal IV come off much stronger in these surroundings, and the inclusion of a bunch of album tracks you forgot about but shouldn't have speaks to the compilers' keen understanding of Seal's career. The new recording of Bacharach-David's "Walk On By" is sweet, fair, and no disappointment, but it's Seal's take on Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle" or Echo & the Bunnymen's "Lips Like Sugar" that proves him an great interpreter of other's tunes and able to shine without Horn's help (the positive and empowering "My Vision" is the third and final track without Horn). The greatness of Seal's first two albums keeps the collection from being "the only Seal CD you'll ever need." Instead, Best: 1991-2004 is a fantastic overview of a hit-or-miss artist that soars when he's got the right material. This is all the right material and an unquestionable success. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Pop - Released November 8, 2004 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released November 8, 2004 | Warner Records

Reusing the cover from his 1994 self-titled release -- as opposed to his 1991 or 2003 self-titled release -- makes Seal's discography all the more confusing, but that's the only mistake made on this glorious collection. Seal's partnership with producer Trevor Horn has yielded some of the most elegantly soulful and richly textured pop music of the preceding 20 years. Best: 1991-2004 picks and chooses from their output perfectly, orders it in a way that makes sense, and remembers a couple compilation and soundtrack appearances to make itself worthwhile for Seal's faithful. If you've owned a radio at sometime in the past two decades, a quarter of the disc will be familiar. But radio's compressed delivery of "Crazy," "Kiss From a Rose," and others don't do these grand songs justice; plus, anytime you can put a Trevor Horn production on the headphones is a rewarding experience. The songs from the lesser Seal IV come off much stronger in these surroundings, and the inclusion of a bunch of album tracks you forgot about but shouldn't have speaks to the compilers' keen understanding of Seal's career. The new recording of Bacharach-David's "Walk On By" is sweet, fair, and no disappointment, but it's Seal's take on Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle" or Echo & the Bunnymen's "Lips Like Sugar" that proves him an great interpreter of other's tunes and able to shine without Horn's help (the positive and empowering "My Vision" is the third and final track without Horn). The greatness of Seal's first two albums keeps the collection from being "the only Seal CD you'll ever need." Instead, Best: 1991-2004 is a fantastic overview of a hit-or-miss artist that soars when he's got the right material. This is all the right material and an unquestionable success. © David Jeffries /TiVo