Released in 1991, Seal's self-titled debut attracted a Top-40 crowd, dance enthusiasts, and fans of expertly crafted pop-rock songs. Producer Trevor (Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Yes) Horn helped Seal achieve a sonically rich sound right off the bat--while the songs have electronic elements (drum-machine beats, samples, etc.), there is an underlying organic texture to SEAL that makes it a classic. A significant reason for the album's warmth comes form acoustic and electric guitar, which serve as the root elements for many of the songs. In addition, Seal's soulful voice and hopeful, introspective lyrics add to the winning combination.
Though the album-opening "The Beginning" may give the listener the impression that SEAL is purely a dance album, this couldn't be further from the truth. Seal proves expert in crafting tranquil compositions ("Deep Water," "Whirlpool," "Show Me," "Violet"), as well as in more rock-oriented and funk fare ("Future Love Paradise," the chart success "Crazy,"), and dance-floor shakers ("Killer"). Seal's self-titled debut was easily one of the best of the '90s.
What the critics say...
Entertainment Weekly (8/16/91) - "...Seal pulls off the neat trick of sounding both mysterious and intimate...his sound is so right..." - Rating: A
Musician (9/91) - "...Seal [has a fine] sense of dynamics, which gives drama to the ebb and flow..."
New York Times (Publisher) (9/29/91) - "...A sexy, sensitive and brooding rock-and-roller whose music is as much at home on the dance floor as in the boudoir...Seal's voice is an instrument capable of soothsaying and seducation in the same breath..."
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