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  • Seal
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on July 27, 2014
I originally bought this on cassette around the time it first came out. Since the cassette format has vanished, so did my listening to this album. After browsing Amazon for a few other things, this album popped up, was priced great and included MP3 tracks with the CD, so I snagged it.

What's so great about this album? Practically every song is catchy. There are intelligent, decipherable lyrics. Musicality is top-notch. Although some of the songs were over-played during their heyday (used in film and overplay on radio) making them tiresome to hear until recently, it's a refreshing change to listen to this album from start to finish vs. the crap being released today.
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on January 26, 2003
Oh-my-god! I mean jesus christ, what can I say that folks who've listened to this piece have'nt said or don't already know. I too am one of those who were lucky enough to own this album well before it's commercial debut on the Batman soundtrak. This album is bar none the very best that I have ever owned, with his 1st album in a tight second and Michael Franks" Abandoned Garden" a close third. The way that he talks about loving humankind and the ecology is just...its just...well ok I'll just admit it, it damn near brought me to tears. Now consider that I'm an old school/underground hip hop enthusiast who likes to venture out into other genres as a form of personal adventure and I must admit that every time I listen to any one of the three cd's that this guy has blessed us with I am instantly transported from where I am to some other place..I swear to god you guys...I fly! If you don't own all three of his cd's, please dont wait until theyre outta print because you will truly be at a loss as far your music collection is concerned. BUY THE TRILOGY...I COMMANDETH THEE! I sometimes get a little dramatic, but really you can't go wrong with any of seals stuff. He's a real musical genius.Another recommended cd is Paolo's ("Mystic Man")
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on February 3, 1999
I would first like to apologize to Seal for initially passing him off as another Luther Vandross wannabe. This came from seeing his stature and nothing else. After listening to the album, I was awed. His creativity rivals that of his fellow Brit Peter Gabriel. His voice even seems to resemble Gabriel, especially at the end of "Don't Cry." His combination of Gabriel-type art music and R&B is second to none, even Gabriel's "Shock The Monkey." "Bring It On" does just that. "Prayer For The Dying" starts off like its title indicates, but brings on the goose bumps with its pounding rhythms and sumptuous chords. "Dreaming In Metaphors" made me invent a dance with 3-1/2 beats. This fabulous song never does the same thing from verse to verse. Its beautiful chords, far from the standard repertoire, make the odd meter bearable to the follow-the-crowd musical moron so prevalent in today's audience. "Don't Cry" and "Kiss From A Rose" have already said all that I can. "Fast Changes" is a light flute-guitar dialogue underneath Seal's most impressive vocal abilities. "People Asking Why" is quite a good song with its constant modulations at the end. "Newborn Friend" will satisfy contemporary followers and those who prefer more intelligent music. "If I Could" is a beautiful ballad. "I'm Alive" is an intense testimonial that reminds you of just how lucky you are to have the day you are in. The reprise of "Bring It On" is a well-written postscript to the album. Get this album. Even hip-hop peons will like it, as will the musically intelligent.
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on September 20, 2005
Seal's second album is a masterpiece! I remember listening to Seal's first release in 1991 at age 12. I wasn't really a music fan back then but I thought the album was great. Songs like Crazy and Killer stood out for me especially since their videos were on heavy rotation on MTV. Then in 1995 when I heard "Kiss From A Rose" on the radio , I was hooked on it. At that time i didn't even know that Seal had released a second album. I remembered that this was the same guy I had heard as a 12 year old. It was in 1997 that I first heard Seal's 2nd album. My roommate in College had the CD. I was bored one day and just put it on. For the next hour or so I was dumbfounded at what i heard. It was excellent. Right there and then, I became an instant Seal fan. The next day I went to the bookstore to get my own copy but they did not have it. I ordered it online through Columbia House. Since then I think that I have played this album more than a hundred times. It's always in my car.

"Prayer For the Dying" is the best song on this phenomenal album and arguably one of the best songs in the history of music, period. It always lifts me up when I hear it. The other tracks are also masterpieces.

I reccomend this Cd to every lover of good music. It's a GEM.
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VINE VOICEon May 9, 2010
If the debut album by Seal was an expression of celebrating life, the second was the meditation of life itself. A deeper, far more thoughtful album than anyone could have expected, "Seal II" transformed Seal from not just a terrific singer, but into a soul singer that few artists in the 90's have since matched.

Even his look changed. The debut had the wild haired singer staring you down from the cover art, but now a naked, shaven headed Seal strikes the pose of a supplicant, head bowed and arms outstretched. It's almost as if he knelt to his muse and allowed it to flow into the new music. The initial single, "Prayer For The Dying" was stunningly direct in its ascertainment of life in the early 90's:

"Fearless people, Careless needle.
Harsh words spoken, And lives are broken.
Forceful aging, Help me I'm fading.
Heaven's waiting,It's time to move on."

I remember almost going into shock the first time I heard this song. I was so struck by its beauty and acceptance, as the chorus soared into the line "hold on say yes while people say no." It remains, for me, Seal's finest moment.

Yet this is an album that contains many moments of musical bliss. The ubiquitous "Kiss From a Rose" became a hugs and deserving hit, thanks to being in the "Batman Forever" movie along with the silky harmonies through the song's bridge. Joni Mitchell lends an appealing duet vocal to the hopeful "If I Could." For those who still need the funk of the debut, there's the opening call to action of "Bring It On." Like on the debut, Trevor Horn layered a sonically lush production that suited Seal perfectly; this was one of the best produced albums on the 90's in addition to simply being a great album overall.

It would have been easy for Seal to clone his debut or to have tailored his second album to the reigning hip-hop-pop albums of the day (Ace of Base, Snow, PM Dawn, etc). Instead, he created an album that maintains its integrity and depth as it closes in on its 20th anniversary. Seal didn't just act as a performer who mirrored the times, with this album, he became an artist that transcended them.
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on May 26, 2013
Seal's voice is a delicious feast for the ears, delivering a sultry and sexy mix to enjoy any time of day. Kissed by a Rose is my all time favorite and the reason I stand behind my purchase. I was not disappointed.
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on August 4, 2001
The mere fact i bought this album on impulse, after only hearing the song 'Prayer for the dying', sort of prepared me for the type of music i hoped would be on the rest of the CD. However, after playing it a few times, i thought it was not really what i was expecting, so i shelved it. Then in early 1995 i came across it once more, and decided to play it again, hoping that this time, my previous judgement had been a bit too hasty. Was i in for a shock, the album impressed me like if i hadn't heard it before. The fact that 'Kiss from a rose' got serious airplay does not even begin to touch the versatile style and passion that make up the 'SEAL' sound. Singing with deep meaningful lyrics throughout the entire album, SEAL is at his best, usually the often overplayed hit single is the one most people associate an artist with, however my all time favourite is 'Newborn friend' which just edges out all the others by such a narrow margin. Seals compilation of music keeps the tempo during the album fluid, and your attention is kept focused. The time taken to finish this CD, Two years ,three months, a week and two days, according to the album insert, was a period of careful planning that brought this singer with his signature sound to the front of the music world
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on June 1, 2001
Tired of the formulaic pop Top 40 radio is churning out these days? Go out and pick up a copy of Seal's second self-titled disc. This is pop as it was meant to be, though you really can't even call it pop. Seal's music transcends genres and labels. You can't classify it. And that is what makes it wonderful. What Seal creates, unlike so many other "artists" is music, pure and simple.
The follow-up to his lauded debut of the same name, this "Seal" is most famous for its single "Kiss From a Rose". Yet I don't even consider that one of the best tracks on this disc!("Bring It On", "Prayer for the Dying" and "Newborn Friend" are my favorites; Joni Mitchell's appearance on "If I Could" is also hauntingly beautiful.)Packed from start to finish with distinctively melodious songs (no filler here) featuring funky beats and swirling soundscapes from producer Trevor Horn, "Seal" is one of those very rare albums in which every song is a gem. Each tells a story and leads the listener on a journey aroused from the music but created from each individual listener's own experiences. This is a purchase that will not be regretted.
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on January 13, 2015
This is a fantastic album that holds up well. There are really no weak songs. Very creative and well produced. Beautiful music for any occasion or party. My only criticism is that this album is really unique in Seal's work in terms of quality. I wish there had been a long series of albums this good.
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VINE VOICEon December 9, 2003
Seal has one of the greatest voices in music today, and everything he sings is pretty much a hit. His second album doesn't differ, and is a great release from the master of vocals. Everything he sings is perfect, moving and lyrical. Besides the two overplayed songs on this album, there isn't any duds here.
My favorite off the album is "Dreaming In Metaphors". His voice is powerful, and almost pained. It is a soft, almost haunting song, soft and slow. "Bring It On" is more upbeat with a great rhythm guitar track guaranteed to get you body moving. "I'm Alive" is another upbeat song, reminiscent of his first album. Another favorite for me is "People Asking Why". The singles from this album, "Prayer for the Dying" and "Kiss from a Rose" are great songs too, but they've been overplayed on the radio.
It is hard to beat a Seal album. The compositions are well assembled, and multi-layered yet simple so as not to distract from his voice. As a musician, Seal is amazing, but he far exceeds that with his singing. Another hit album, like everything else he does.
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