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Human Being Import

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 17 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Warner Bros
  • ASIN: B00000F1D6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)

1. Human Beings
2. State Of Grace
3. Latest Craze
4. Just Like You Said
5. Princess
6. Lost My Faith
7. Excerpt From
8. When A Man Is Wrong
9. Colour
10. Still Love Remains
11. No Easy Way
12. Human Beings Reprise

Product Description

Product Description

Certified gold by the RIAA. (1/99)

Why is it that Seal's albums seem to be readily disposable at first listen but always prove to be more timeless than could be predicted? On Human Being, Seal's third release (and first with a title other than his name), several of the tracks are layered with prominent, syrupy strings, and his predictable vocal crescendos veer dangerously into the land of forgettable grocery-store-intercom adult contemporary. But hang in there; there's a lot more substance here than what will first reach your ear. This complex release is a little harder to categorize than his debut record (the dance album) or his second disc (the power-ballads album). The first two tracks hint that--oh, no--it's going to be another late-1990s trip-hop album, but thankfully, Seal doesn't go there. Listen a couple of times--you'll hear everything from orchestral swells to tinny rhythm guitar, experimental keyboard effects to late-night jazz piano accompanying Seal's standard "Can't we all just get along?" lyrical message. These tracks are heavily produced and thickly layered but at the same time his most intimate and personal songs to date. The album's cover art is a good metaphor for its mood: Seal is naked and crouched over--cowering or ready to strike? So, too, the songs lash out, then plead, then sting, then soothe. Start counting; this album has a long shelf life. --Beth Bessmer

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

By christopher on Sept. 16 2003
Format: Audio CD
I find it surprising that so many people (including established music critics) panned this album. The opening track, as the slinky cover art suggests, is dark and forboding with Seal's husky voice soaring above the chaos. The album is thick with texture, thanks in part to the fabulous production of Art of Noise alumni Trevor Horn and the orchestral arrangements of Anne Dudley. There's a lot of "panned" stuff going on that will pop out at you if you listen with headphones.
Although the album is heavy with strings, it also has acoustic flavorings smartly mixed in with the rest (the liner notes include a heated conversation Seal had with his producer concerning the inclusion of the acoustic). "Latest Craze" is a dance groove with an intoxicating guitar riff on the chorus that will float in and out of your dreams in you're not careful.
Much of the album centers on the quest for love and the longing for love lost. "Just Like You Said" is my favorite. The acoustic guitar carries the weight, but the lyrics speak of profound sadness and nostalgia ("say if you can its OK/just like you said way then"). Another gem is "No Easy Way", the last song (excluding the "reprise") and a fitting lyric for the finale. When Seal sings "if I see a tear in your eye, it's an easy way to goodbye", it seems as if the person who's the focus of his lyrics is walking away from him as he sings.
Find yourself a good chair, turn the lights low, and really concentrate of what you are hearing, lyrically and vocally. This album will grow on you; I guarantee it.
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By A. Eby on April 10 2003
Format: Audio CD
Seal has always been an innovative musician and "Human Being", his third album, continues the trend of lush, orchestral music and philosophical lyrics. Overall, this album is quieter than his other two and taken as a whole, it's a little harder to get into. To fully appreciate "Human Being", you need to listen to it song by song. Each song is beautifully crafted and texturally rich. The opener, "Human Beings", is a beautiful, haunting wall of sound - as always, Seal's vocals transport the listener to another realm. "Latest Craze" is more similar in sound to the music of his last two albums; it's got more of a club beat. My personal favorite is "When a Man Is Wrong", an exquisite, gently uplifting if somewhat melancholic song. In this, as in all his best music, Seal creates an introspective, quietly celebratory mood through his vocals and the rich layers of instrumentation that surround them. Seal is one of my favorite artists; he consistently produces beautiful, innovative music. It's a shame a lovely piece of work like "Human Being" is overlooked in our Top 40-saturated culture. Sometimes you need to lower the volume, put on the headphones, and just LISTEN.
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Format: Audio CD
Seal's third CD is a big departure from the chart-topping classics of his first two albums, both of which are among the best of the 1990s. Much darker, and more twilight, and winter in mood, Seal's third album is more of a mix of futuristic trip-hop and a bit of 70s sounding production. There aren't any really commercial sounding songs on the album, probably why this amazing CD didn't sell through the roof like his first and second albums did and it's a shame because while it's not as up there as the former, it still deserves a lot more recognition and attention than what it gets.
This album has more of a twilight mood as opposed to the brighter, more up-tempo mood of the 1994 album and the club-oriented self-titled debut album. However, Seal's passionate, soaring vocals are definitely present and it definitely makes "Human Being" almost as grabbing as the other two, even with a couple of weak songs.
HUMAN BEING A+ This is a fantastic opener with a dark, intense atmosphere and Seal's soaring vocals blending with a dark, yet uplifting song. It starts off as a dark and ominous minor note song and blasts into an uplifting major note song but keeping its dark undertone mood. Another classic from one of the most underrated singers of our time.
STATE OF GRACE B+ This is a mellow and very twilight sounding song with strange wobbly guitars and a very subdued, down-tempo mood to it. A nice song.
LATEST CRAZE A+ Seal goes trip-hop and it works very well. It's a very trippy, semi-danceable song with a dark and futuristic twilight mood to it. It also has a bit of a bluesy sound to it as well. The electronic sound effects are bubbly and not sounding like a video game in the background and it works so well.
JUST LIKE YOU C This song is a mellow and very quite in mood.
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Format: Audio CD
Not as commercially successful as the other Seal releases, and appeals to a smaller audience, but it is my favorite. After the largely idealistic Seal 2, Human Being follows with a much more somber and depressing mood. It may, in fact, wear out the listener on the first few occasions. But it keeps you hearing for more; eventually, it comes together like an epiphany. This is about the pattern of events leading up to a romantic break-up, and searching for one's purpose in life. These are not silly pop songs; these are songs from the dark rivers of the heart. Tracks like "State of Grace" (which marches along in contemplation and varied emotional expression) and "Colour" (which can be interpreted as a rich nighttime imagery, but is truthfully a wish for racial harmony) have a more universal appeal, while heartbreaking performances "Just Like You Said", "When A Man Is Wrong", "Still Love Remains", and "No Easy Way" are plainly about saddening relationship struggles, and the inevitable breakup. Not all is gloom, however; as examples, "Latest Craze" is just upbeat and danceable, and "Excerpt From" is the emotion of love transformed into a 3D soundscape. A stunning masterpiece from SEAL.
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