Seal IV

Seal IV

by Seal
     
 

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After a five-year absence, Seal rebounds with perhaps his best album to date. By the sound of things, Seal underwent both a personal and a professional transformation that left him rejuvenated and spiritually renewed. Lyrically, he still sings plaintive pleas for love, peace, and understanding in the vein of his breakout song "Crazy" and the Grammy-winning "Kiss

Overview

After a five-year absence, Seal rebounds with perhaps his best album to date. By the sound of things, Seal underwent both a personal and a professional transformation that left him rejuvenated and spiritually renewed. Lyrically, he still sings plaintive pleas for love, peace, and understanding in the vein of his breakout song "Crazy" and the Grammy-winning "Kiss from a Rose." On the uplifting "Love's Divine," the London-born singer croons: "Through the rain storm came sanctuary / And I felt my spirit fly." But thanks to the guidance of longtime producer Trevor Horn, Seal stretches his vocals in unexpected directions, as on the reggae-tinged "Where There's Gold," where he takes a rude-boy stance and sings in patois à la Sean Paul, and the secular love song "Don't Make Me Wait," which Seal lends a hymnlike, gospel fervor. To Horn's credit, the disc's musical palette is also colored by lots of experimentation: "Let Me Roll" is surprisingly upbeat and hip-hop inspired; the horn-infused "Get It Together" has an old-school funk vibe (think Curtis Mayfield and Sly Stone); "Waiting for You" mines the Delta blues; and the ambient, acoustic guitar–laced "Loneliest Star" recalls the '80s pop of the Thompson Twins. Although he dabbles in new sounds, Seal doesn't forget his core audience. On the seductive "Touch," he woos his female fans with steamy lines like, "I remember the times I used to kiss your mouth, your eyes, your face..." As a vocalist, Seal's soul is not quite neo -- his raspy vocals are informed as much by Peter Gabriel as by Sam Cooke -- but his understanding of how to make an enchantingly smooth R&B and adult contemporary pop record remains timeless.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Besides taking his usual multi-year hiatus before releasing Seal IV, the artist scrapped a whole album's worth of material, feeling he couldn't stand behind the strength of the songs (should this be Seal IV.I?). It's disappointing, then, that the songs on Seal IV lack any of the Grammy-grabbing flair of his earlier releases. What saves it is a conviction that is high enough to overcome the material's weaknesses, a voice that is more driven than usual, and some genuine moments of songwriting inspiration. "Let Me Roll" has a cool swagger and fun wordplay, and the yearning ballad "Loneliest Star" is only a few steps away from "Kiss from a Rose." Opener "Get It Together" offers an Up With People understanding of the state of the world with its "everyone is beautiful" sentimentality, but it's the funky backbeat and gritty vocals that make it more Al Green than Lee Greenwood. A re-recording of Seal's collaboration with Jakatta, "My Vision" is given new life through more restrained than usual production from Trevor Horn. The absence of Horn's usual bombast throughout the album allows Seal's voice (in every sense of the word) to be the focus. It's a good move, and if the totally solid Jakatta-sourced track is any indication, a break from Horn might be beneficial next time. Despite being heavy with unexceptional tunes, Seal IV has enough going for it to warrant the next four years of anticipation. [Seal IV
Rolling Stone - Ernest Hardy
Working with his longtime producer, the brilliant Trevor Horn, the singer-songwriter retreats from the lush, moody introspection of 1998's Human Being for a more accessible collection of soul pop.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/20/2004
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0093624867227
catalogNumber:
48672

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Seal   Primary Artist,Bass,Guitar,Keyboards
Ian Thomas   Drums
Chris Bruce   Bass,Guitar
Tim Cansfield   Guitar
Alan Griffiths   Guitar
Earl Harvin   Drums
Trevor Horn   Bass,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards
Luis Jardim   Percussion
Jamie Muhoberac   Bass,Piano,Keyboards
Tessa Niles   Background Vocals
Tim Pierce   Guitar
Carlos Rios   Keyboards
Gavyn Wright   Leader
Mark Batson   Organ,Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Piano,Clavinet,fender rhodes,Synthesizer Bass,wah wah guitar,Wurlitzer
Gus Isidore   Guitar
Pete Murray   Piano,Keyboards
Heitor Teixeira Pereira   Guitar

Technical Credits

Seal   Composer,Executive Producer
Robert Maxwell   Cover Photo
Craig Anderson   Authoring
Alan Griffiths   Composer,drum programming
Trevor Horn   Producer
Thomas Newman   Composer
Steve Sidwell   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements,Choir Arrangement
Tim Weidner   Engineer
Mark Batson   Composer,Producer,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements,drum programming,Piano Arrangement
David May   Producer
Jeri Heiden   Art Direction
David Dieckmann   Authoring
Jill Sinclair   Executive Producer
Dan Vickers   Engineer
Tim Lambert   Engineer
Robert Orton   Composer,Engineer
Nick Ingham   String Arrangements,Orchestral Arrangements,Choir Arrangement
Ric Salmon   Composer
Sean Donnelly   Graphic Design
Robin Hurley   Producer
Penny Marciano   Producer
Spencer Christu   Authoring
Dan Gautreau   Pro-Tools
Charlie Russell   drum programming
Steve Price   Engineer

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