Boy, has this been a crazy month for album releases. It felt like the 90s again with everyone from The Corrs, Nick Carter, to Enya and Bjork releasing new material. Also a big month for pop releases – Ellie Goulding, Justin Beiber, Little Mix…phew! And then of course, the master stroke by Adele!
It took me a while to get myself updated with all those albums and what a busy month this has been. But, tucked away in the sea of releases, I could have easily missed one name but was lucky enough not to. There’s a new Seal album, people! How can we not have known about it?
So after my first listen my thoughts were – this is the kind of album that grows on you if you’re a first time Seal listener. If you’re a 90s kid who has grown listening to “Kiss from a Rose” and are used to the eclectic chord choices – it grows on you faster. It is not a consistently great album, nor is the Seal’s best work – there are tracks that are signature Seal and then there are tracks that are fresh and clear evidence of exploration of new sounds. Which is great, but that means there are hits and misses like there is with every experiment! But, you see this is what makes artists like him special – the ability and will to push boundaries.
The album opens with “Daylight Saving” which is also the most ambient song of the tracklist – it creates a tense atmosphere with its beats. Next, “Everytime I’m with You” is more of a soft pop ballad. Surprisingly, moving on we have two dance numbers lined up – “Life on the Dancefloor” and “Padded Cell”, both have pop elements but compositionally strong and “Padded Cell” is easily my favorite on the list. The tempo again dips as we move on with “Do You Ever” and the “Big Love Has Died” while the former fails to impress me in the beginning it picks up post bridge, and “Big Love Has Died” is the most reminiscent of the classic Seal style composition.
“Redzone Killer” and “Monascow” are funky tracks with soul-sy elements and are masterful examples. It is from here that the album takes a dip with the next two tracks “Half A Heart” and “Let Yourself” being somewhat mediocre lacking greater compositional strengths and it picks up only a notch with the last track “Love” – a piano ballad with powerful vocals and a meandering composition.
Overall, the album traverses into different lyrical subjects - no matter how many talks are there about Heidi Klum, it just does not stagnate at that one thing (Seal is not Taylor Swift after all, people). Seal’s voice complements all the chaos perfectly. And the bottomline is – it’s a glorious album (barring a few misses here and there) and if you have already exhausted your limits of listening to Adele over again, go give this a try!