Top positive review
38 people found this helpful
Incredible! Absolutely incredible!
on August 1, 2003
There are a very good number of pop albums out there that absolutely are extremely creative and highly intelligent with miles and miles of depth and thought-provoking lyrics and moody music. Seal's second self-titled album is one of those albums that has it all: substance, depth, enjoyability, excellent production, and timeless quality, all of these to an extreme level. Building upon the talents that came blasting through on his spectacular debut, the house dance elements that defined that awesome debut, are for the most part, replaced by a much more soulful blend of pop, R&B, and even occasional New Age elements on some of the songs.
I got my first dose of Seal's incredible music in the summer of 1994 when I was just 11 and first heard "Prayer For The Dying" on the radio back when this album was new and before then, I never even heard of him but later on when I first heard the whole album in the car on a trip and when "Kiss From A Rose" became a giant hit on the charts, I was instantly a fan for life. I loved his music when I first heard it when I was 11 and today, his music has gotten even better with age. I can remember a whole bunch of alternative rock artists that I loved during the tail end of the grunge era just before it winded down in 1995 and then the fads came along for the next few years which I enjoyed for a short period of time but later became embarrassed at hearing later on as I matured. Seal's music however is not one of those passing fads. His music has such a mature and highly fluid quality that makes all of the music that he has composed stand up ot the passing years and both this and his debut albums are classics and albums that I feel I need to have in order to survive.
When I was younger, I just simply enjoyed this album for its dark, dramatic and cloudy day tone to it but something happened to me that later on, made this album a diamond of a treasure and this album has taken on a whole new meaning that still rings today.
I was going through a severe downward spiral depression after losing a close friend of mines in a car accident several years ago when I finally managed to pick this album up one day and let me tell you, every song on here lifted me back up to my secure self again and because of this, this album has and always will have a special place in my collection as long as I live. The lyrics to songs like "Kiss From A Rose" such as the line "Light Hits The Gloom On The Grave" lifted me out of the dark depression that I went through following the loss that the song is totally meaningful and even before all this happened, the song was a very gorgeous song to listen to. The fact that this song became one of the biggest singles of all time is one of the rare moments when a truly great and meaningful song got the praise that it deserved even though it isn't my favorite song on this album. I still hear this awesome song on the radio relatively frequently. "Prayer For The Dying" became almost like my grief theme for the time but also a rather uplifting upbeat song while being sad all at the same time and for that, this is one of my favorite songs from this incredible CD. After all that turmoil, this album became a life-altering experience (in a positive light) and now this album has a special place in my collection.
While this album might be known primarily for the massive hit single from "Batman Forever", the best songs are the `non-singles' that are the real highlights. Several include the dramatic but fun opening track "Bring It On", with it's intense, grey, and dramatic melody, the warm, dreamy "Fast Changes" which is a highly uplifting song, and the elegant "People Asking Why", and the danceable "Newborn Friend". Even the `non-highlight' tracks that I haven't pointed out shouldn't be cast aside either as they are spectacular on their own.
I just don't know how to describe the nature of this album except that in the years since then, no one in my opinion has toyed with soul, pop, jazz, and occasional New Age blending the way Seal did with this album and his debut and I can easily say his second album could very well be his artistic crowning achievement of his career although his debut album does provide some competition. Even though 1998's "Human Being" doesn't quite rank up there with his first two albums, even that album shows that Seal has lost none of his edge.
I cannot find any major flaws on this album. The closest I could come is the hypnotically beautiful closer "Bring It On Reprise" but that's just because of it's short playing time and that it leaves you hungry for more but even then, it makes for a fantastic closer.
The fact that this incredible CD went platinum was one of the not so frequent times when a truly gifted artist got the attention he/she deserves with his/her talents and that this and his debut and even "Human Being" remain popular is testament that his music has (possibly) found a new audience. As I look back at my memories of 1994, and the joy of what this album has brought me over the years since then in spite of the turmoil I went through, this album is a wonderful portrait of the memories of that period in music. Seal is a living legend and one that no one around today will ever see again. Please buy this album. I don't know of many straight out pop albums that have so much depth and feeling the way this album does. Buy it new! Support Mr. Samuel! Support real talent in music! Enough said, just go and buy this album! What will it do for you?