Seal - Soul Live

2009-07-28 15:51
Soul Live
Thankfully Seal delivers on all accounts, from the moment you press play and hear the opening notes of "A Change Is Gonna Come", the 1964 single that is closely associated with the US Civil Rights Movement, to personal favourites like his super smooth rendition of "It's A Man's Man's Man's World", the 1966 hit recorded by James Brown. He's emotive on "If You Don't Know Me By Now", made famous by Teddy Pendergrass and Simply Red. And he nails break up and make-up ballads "I’ve Been Loving You Too Long" and "Stand By Me", originally performed by Ben E. King and played by U2 during their Joshua Tree, Zoo TV, and PopMart tours.

Not-so-favourites include "I Can’t Stand The Rain", which I hear but just don’t feel, while any enjoyment for "Knock On Wood" and "Here I Am (Come And Take Me)" has slowly been whittled away by the advertising industry and B-Grade rom coms.

If tracks 1-9 are all about history and homage, then the bonus tracks are the songs Seal is loved for. "Kiss From A Rose" will always invoke scenes of a lonely Batman sitting on top of a building. In the days before MP3 and CD players I looped this song thrice at the end of a mixed tape creating my own extended version. And if you are a Seal fan, you’ll go mad for this version of the anthem for cutting loose and being quirky…"Crazy".

This album goes down like great coffee, rich, dark and smooth. You'll feel the kick with each sip but it will settle warmly. It's like your own private concert of well loved hits. The songs one generation listened to and passed down to another. Soul Live reminded me that Seal remains one of the artists I would love to see live in SA. Who knows, maybe if we mail him, he will come....

It's a brave artist that covers songs written and performed by legends, sung by modern day icons, and, most importantly, that are so well loved.

What to read next: Kalahari
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