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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Bring It On|
|2. Prayer For The Dying|
|3. Dreaming In Metaphors|
|4. Don't Cry|
|5. Fast Changes|
|6. Kiss From A Rose|
|7. People Asking Why|
|8. Newborn Friend|
|9. If I Could|
|10. I'm Alive|
|11. Bring It On (Reprise)|
A far deeper, more enduring outing than his spectacular 1991 debut. Producer Trevor Horn calls on a cast of dozens (including Joni Mitchell who duets on the lovely "If I Could" and the ubiquitous Jeff Beck) and channels his famous, over-the-top tendencies into a sumptious bed of sound that makes Tears for Fears sound minimal. Soulful first single "Prayer for the Dying" will set the pace, while "Kiss From A Rose" is a huge ballad. --Jeff Bateman
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Top Customer Reviews
My favorite off the album is "Dreaming In Metaphors". His voice is powerful, and almost pained. It is a soft, almost haunting song, soft and slow. "Bring It On" is more upbeat with a great rhythm guitar track guaranteed to get you body moving. "I'm Alive" is another upbeat song, reminiscent of his first album. Another favorite for me is "People Asking Why". The singles from this album, "Prayer for the Dying" and "Kiss from a Rose" are great songs too, but they've been overplayed on the radio.
It is hard to beat a Seal album. The compositions are well assembled, and multi-layered yet simple so as not to distract from his voice. As a musician, Seal is amazing, but he far exceeds that with his singing. Another hit album, like everything else he does.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I got my first dose of Seal's incredible music in the summer of 1994 when I was just 11 and first heard "Prayer For The Dying" on the radio back when this album was new and before then, I never even heard of him but later on when I first heard the whole album in the car on a trip and when "Kiss From A Rose" became a giant hit on the charts, I was instantly a fan for life. I loved his music when I first heard it when I was 11 and today, his music has gotten even better with age. I can remember a whole bunch of alternative rock artists that I loved during the tail end of the grunge era just before it winded down in 1995 and then the fads came along for the next few years which I enjoyed for a short period of time but later became embarrassed at hearing later on as I matured. Seal's music however is not one of those passing fads. His music has such a mature and highly fluid quality that makes all of the music that he has composed stand up ot the passing years and both this and his debut albums are classics and albums that I feel I need to have in order to survive.
When I was younger, I just simply enjoyed this album for its dark, dramatic and cloudy day tone to it but something happened to me that later on, made this album a diamond of a treasure and this album has taken on a whole new meaning that still rings today.
I was going through a severe downward spiral depression after losing a close friend of mines in a car accident several years ago when I finally managed to pick this album up one day and let me tell you, every song on here lifted me back up to my secure self again and because of this, this album has and always will have a special place in my collection as long as I live. The lyrics to songs like "Kiss From A Rose" such as the line "Light Hits The Gloom On The Grave" lifted me out of the dark depression that I went through following the loss that the song is totally meaningful and even before all this happened, the song was a very gorgeous song to listen to. The fact that this song became one of the biggest singles of all time is one of the rare moments when a truly great and meaningful song got the praise that it deserved even though it isn't my favorite song on this album. I still hear this awesome song on the radio relatively frequently. "Prayer For The Dying" became almost like my grief theme for the time but also a rather uplifting upbeat song while being sad all at the same time and for that, this is one of my favorite songs from this incredible CD. After all that turmoil, this album became a life-altering experience (in a positive light) and now this album has a special place in my collection.
While this album might be known primarily for the massive hit single from "Batman Forever", the best songs are the `non-singles' that are the real highlights. Several include the dramatic but fun opening track "Bring It On", with it's intense, grey, and dramatic melody, the warm, dreamy "Fast Changes" which is a highly uplifting song, and the elegant "People Asking Why", and the danceable "Newborn Friend". Even the `non-highlight' tracks that I haven't pointed out shouldn't be cast aside either as they are spectacular on their own.
I just don't know how to describe the nature of this album except that in the years since then, no one in my opinion has toyed with soul, pop, jazz, and occasional New Age blending the way Seal did with this album and his debut and I can easily say his second album could very well be his artistic crowning achievement of his career although his debut album does provide some competition. Even though 1998's "Human Being" doesn't quite rank up there with his first two albums, even that album shows that Seal has lost none of his edge.
I cannot find any major flaws on this album. The closest I could come is the hypnotically beautiful closer "Bring It On Reprise" but that's just because of it's short playing time and that it leaves you hungry for more but even then, it makes for a fantastic closer.
The fact that this incredible CD went platinum was one of the not so frequent times when a truly gifted artist got the attention he/she deserves with his/her talents and that this and his debut and even "Human Being" remain popular is testament that his music has (possibly) found a new audience. As I look back at my memories of 1994, and the joy of what this album has brought me over the years since then in spite of the turmoil I went through, this album is a wonderful portrait of the memories of that period in music. Seal is a living legend and one that no one around today will ever see again. Please buy this album. I don't know of many straight out pop albums that have so much depth and feeling the way this album does. Buy it new! Support Mr. Samuel! Support real talent in music! Enough said, just go and buy this album! What will it do for you?
I'm not likely to go out and buy the latest Pearl Jam just as it rolls into the mall - quite the contrary, actually. My usual CD purchases tend to be releases so old the artist in question has stopped recording by now. Or worse, in the case of Jim Croce or Karen Carpenter. I did buy Michael Jackson's Thriller -- over a decade after its release. Also Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell -- a good eight years after it came out. I hear songs on the radio, and if they catch my ear while they're hot, and then later, maybe years later, they STILL grab me when they come on, well, ok. It's time to buy that one.
And so it was with SEAL II. Of course I had heard Kiss from a Rose, who hasn't? And Don't Cry as well, both of these songs were grabbers, hooking me in on their non-traditional chord progression structure. So I bought SEAL II one day, among a few other CDs I had held out on a while.
I can remember playing tracks 4-6 a lot at first, after all I knew 4 and 6 and Fast Changes between quickly became quite listenable. But something marvelous happened as I gave the other tracks more and more play, over time: ALL of them grabbed me. In each track there was more you could hear, in the lush orchestrations or the odd percussions, with every hearing. Not that everything isn't supporting roles for Seal's voice -- it is, and justifiably so. The clarity, power, SOUL of that voice, comfortable in either high or low range and always full of intense sincerity, should be the showcase and it always is. But I came to realize, on the 10th or 15th playing of track 3 (Metaphors) that everything else underneath is also exquisitely perfected. I'm not a musician myself so I still don't understand those rhythm structure, or those chord progressions. But it all belongs, it always adds, never detracts, and I don't know now, even after 50 plays or more, if I won't hear something new when I next play any one of the tracks from this awesome album. If I do, it won't be a false note, I know that much.
So. As SEAL II grew on me until it was practically the only thing I was listening to, and I became aware of the existence of Human Being (or Hu manBe in g as Seal spells it on the spine), I was driven to something I very seldom do. I won't say it's unprecedented, but nearly so: I bought a CD without ever hearing a single cut beforehand. (Only about a year after its release, too!) And unlike his previous album, Human Being I bought 'alone', without a pile of other artists to listen to at the same time.
Quickly spinning through once, I had that pit-of-stomach feeling I'd been had again. Seal was a one album number. (Yes, I know about SEAL I.) Only tracks 2 and 6 (State of Grace and Lost my Faith) seemed there at all. I played 2, 6, 2, 6 for a while and I felt a bunch better. The same mystifying thing was happening that never happened to me listing to a Seals and Crofts or Billy Joel album: every listening was bringing me more depth, more interest, and... more feeling. Seal's music is not to be dismissed on one hearing. I spun the whole thing again. Now 4 (Just Like You Said) is grabbing me. I'm thinking now that I should slow down, and let this album overwhelm me slowly, like the last one did. Maybe all at once is too much.
As of now (in my current reading of it), Human Being seems to be, not darker exactly, but sadder, than SEAL II was -- not as uplifting or as hopeful. I know Seal is pouring his personal soul and life into these releases - it's likely the main reason they take so long to get made - and so it seems he'd had a pretty trying 3 or 4 years. Too, his view of the external world seems darker than it was 8 years ago when SEAL II was being written. But the music hasn't suffered. From the minimalist accoustic pieces to the fully orchestrated reprise of the title track, Seal's power to grab you and submerse you remains. You do have to give him a chance. But in exchange for having to work a little - to really listen instead of just have it on while fixing dinner or something - you get a unique view, from inside his music. There's nobody out there like him, and my suggestion is: don't miss out on it.
-- Joeygray --
I have never, and will never, be awestruck when I see a celebrity. Madonna's pathetic, the boy bands are a passing fad, Britney Spears will be selling herself for money (as if she isn't already) in a couple years. But Seal is the one man who could completely capture my attention and, dare I say it, worship, with his voice -- let alone a live concert, which I would kill to go to. I don't rate him according to other musicians, I hold him up to others as the ideal they should become.
The tracks that make this album stand out are "Don't Cry," "Kiss From A Rose," and "Dreaming In Metaphor." The rest are incredible, too, but these three are what I listen for. I admit that I'm an mp3 downloader, but when I hear music I truly respect -- which is rare -- I buy the CD. Seal is one of the only one albums I've bought, and I will never regret the money I spent on it; I only wish more of it could go to Seal.
The real trouble with it is that it sounds good on ANYTHING! It seems to have been mixed and EQ'd so perfectly that it flatters anything from a high-end hi-fi system to an inexpensive car audio. You'll always get goosebumps at that first chorus in "Prayer For The Dying!" Even on a £19.99 boogie box. So be careful with this recording; it's sonic sugar!