Seal – Soul

2009-02-05 08:06
Connoisseurs may feel some reluctance in admitting that Seal has accomplished something magnificent here, especially when your loyalties lie with original soul stirrers like Al Green, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and James Brown. It takes balls to cover such great American classics as "Stand By Me", "I've Been Loving You Too Long" or "People Get Ready". But Soul  is more of an ode to the original artists than a cocky covers album.

Instead of messing with the original arrangements, Seal's opted to refresh what was already near-perfect. His deep throaty voice is perfectly suited to the southern soul style of vintage anthems like Harold Melvin's "If You Don't Know Me by Now" and Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World". Even that pop soul perpetual "Stand by Me", which over the years have been remixed, redone and covered to within an inch of its life, sounds almost fresh. Other gems include a laid back take on disco soul gem "I Can't Stand The Rain" and an enduringly funky "People get Ready".

The dozen time-honored tracks sound consistently more suited to Seal's own maturing essence as a 45-year-old father than most of the pop hits he's peddled over the years. Could Soul  mean a shift in his focus? Here's hoping.
Someone important once said "don't record a cover unless you can do it better". Could Seal's masterful classic soul covers be better than the originals?

What to read next: Kalahari
Read more on:    seal

frank 2009/02/10 14:13
  • Rating:
Sounds like an aged album
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.