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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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7

R&B - Released November 6, 2015 | Warner Records

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After the global successes of Kiss From a Rose, Love’s Divine, and Crazy, the British soul legend Seal continues to maintain his exemplary vocal standards on his new album, 7. Staying true to himself, love remains the chief preoccupation for Seal on this instalment; this noble sentiment has proven an endless source of inspiration for the singer throughout his storied career. His powerful, hushed voice continues to be the perfect instrument to treat his amorous subject with. The deep complicity that Seal has with his producer, Trevor Horn, continues to work sonic wonders. The compositions on 7 possess a certain steaminess, which, when coupled with Seal’s vocal range, give extremely listenable results. An unexpected pleasure. © LG/Qobuz
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Pop - Released November 8, 2004 | Warner Records

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Vocal Jazz - Released November 10, 2017 | Decca (UMO)

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It’s always some kind of baptism of fire. Not a prerequisite but a way to measure oneself to one’s colleagues from yesterday and today. With the aptly named Standards, his tenth studio album, Seal climbs the Everest of the great jazz and swing classics. After three decades, the Brit doesn’t have anything to prove anymore about the soul quality of his voice. But this retro-flavored enchanted digression reminds us of how this powerful and sultry organ can master any repertoire. Recorded for the most part in the famous Capitol studios in Los Angeles, precisely where Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat “King” Cole and many others have recorded some of their greatest discs, Standards has incidentally been created with the help of musicians that have assisted these great voices. We find pianist Randy Waldman (Frank Sinatra, Paul Anka), bass player Chuck Berghofer (Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles) and drummer Greg Fields (Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder), all gathered so that Seal would give his reinterpretations of Autumn Leaves, I Put A Spell On You, Love For Sale, My Funny Valentine, I've Got You Under My Skin, Smile, I'm Beginning To See The Light and Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow. “This is the album I have always wanted to make, explains the concerned party. I grew up listening to music from the Rat Pack era, so recording these timeless tunes was a lifelong dream. It was a true honour to collaborate with the same musicians who performed with Frank Sinatra and so many of my favourite artists, in the very same studios where the magic was first made – it was one of the greatest days of my recording career.” We can easily imagine that… © CM/Qobuz
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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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Pop - Released January 4, 2005 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released November 27, 2009 | Warner Records

Following Seal’s first compilation by five years, Hits covers much of the same ground as Best: 1991-2004: a whopping ten of its 18 songs are also on Best, including every one of his big hits (“Kiss from a Rose,” “Crazy,” “Killer,” “Prayer for the Dying”), with the remaining eight tracks including two new cuts bookending the album and singles released since Best. This makes it more comprehensive and complete than Best, but casual fans can be excused for thinking that there’s not much difference between the two compilations for the very fact that Seal hasn’t had many big hits since 2004, with not a single single crossing over into the American Top 40 (“Amazing” and “The Right Life” appeared on the dance charts, “If You Don’t Know Me by Now” on the adult contemporary). So, anybody who already has Best: 1991-2004 will not be tempted by this, but anyone in the market for a Seal hits collection will find this generous and enjoyable. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released November 4, 2011 | Reprise

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Pop - Released June 12, 2009 | Warner Records

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Vocal Jazz - Released November 10, 2017 | Decca (UMO)

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It’s always some kind of baptism of fire. Not a prerequisite but a way to measure oneself to one’s colleagues from yesterday and today. With the aptly named Standards, his tenth studio album, Seal climbs the Everest of the great jazz and swing classics. After three decades, the Brit doesn’t have anything to prove anymore about the soul quality of his voice. But this retro-flavored enchanted digression reminds us of how this powerful and sultry organ can master any repertoire. Recorded for the most part in the famous Capitol studios in Los Angeles, precisely where Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat “King” Cole and many others have recorded some of their greatest discs, Standards has incidentally been created with the help of musicians that have assisted these great voices. We find pianist Randy Waldman (Frank Sinatra, Paul Anka), bass player Chuck Berghofer (Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles) and drummer Greg Fields (Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder), all gathered so that Seal would give his reinterpretations of Autumn Leaves, I Put A Spell On You, Love For Sale, My Funny Valentine, I've Got You Under My Skin, Smile, I'm Beginning To See The Light and Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow. “This is the album I have always wanted to make, explains the concerned party. I grew up listening to music from the Rat Pack era, so recording these timeless tunes was a lifelong dream. It was a true honour to collaborate with the same musicians who performed with Frank Sinatra and so many of my favourite artists, in the very same studios where the magic was first made – it was one of the greatest days of my recording career.” We can easily imagine that… © CM/Qobuz
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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
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Ambient/New Age - Released October 30, 2015 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released January 31, 2011 | Reprise

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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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Soul - Released September 9, 2003 | Warner Records

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Soul - Released February 17, 2009 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released May 24, 2005 | Warner Records

In the case of Seal's Live in Paris, the CD with packed-in DVD format turns what would be a mediocre live album release into a desirable package. The DVD is by far the highlight of the set, since Seal's live show doesn't vary drastically from his recordings. There's very little improvisation and the arrangements stick as closely to the album versions as a five-piece can, which is a compliment since carrying off Trevor Horn's ambitious productions with a small combo is no small feat. The CD also disappoints by chopping off Seal's versions of "Hey Joe" and "Deep Water," an intimate encore that looks and sounds triumphant on the DVD. Consider the CD a freebie for fans away from their televisions and consider the DVD first. The concert is captured well with shots around Paris and bits of Seal backstage tastefully inserted into the main program. The cameramen seem a little more infatuated with the female concertgoers than they should be, but not at the expense of the show, which is captured brilliantly from all angles. Seal's pleasant exchanges with the audience add the warm charisma missed on the CD, and while his voice isn't in A+ condition for the show, it doesn't crack and survives every demanding, dramatic ballad just fine. Live albums are rarely recommendable to anyone but the most devoted fans, but with the DVD, Live in Paris rises above being a throwaway, stopgap release. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Pop - Released April 14, 2009 | Warner Records

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Pop - Released April 17, 2012 | Warner Records