Monday, January 26, 2009



David Foster produced Seal’s new album Soul released by Warner.


The simple title of the CD says it all. Soul. And it is indeed soul. Not just any soul. It is excellent vintage soul covered from recordings from the early days of Motown, which was the Detroit label that turned black America’s music of the heart into fodder for the hit charts.

The artist is Seal, who is now sometimes known as the husband of the beautiful model and Project Runway host Heidi Klum. But Seal is more than that. He has this fantastic voice and is uniquely attractive. He sells lots of CDs, remember Kiss from a Rose, Prayer for the Dying, Don’t Cry and the more recent Amazing, has won lots of awards, including some Grammys and gets critical acclaim for his work.

Soul is Seal’s sixth and newest studio album. Although he has always written his own often innovative material he decided to take the oldies route with this one. But because he is Seal, he is not about to just record any old song just any which way. For one, he was inspired to sing the lead cut, Sam Cooke’s, A Change is Gonna Come by the campaign slogan of now US President-elect Barack Obama when he got the Democratic Party nomination. Seal really knew then that he had to make the CD very special. So to do that, he got the also big selling, lots of awards winning David Foster to produce.

Foster is the man behind many memorable recordings. As the recently-released David Foster and Friends CD and DVD, so clearly shows, he works with only the best. Among them are Celine Dion, Because You Loved Me; Whitney Houston, I Will Always Love You; Barbra Streisand, Somewhere; Andrea Bocelli, The Prayer; Natalie Cole, My Grown-up Christmas List; Peter Cetera, The Glory of Love; Michael BublĂ©, Home; Josh Groban, You’re Still You; Simon and Garfunkle, Bridge Over Troubled Waters; Chicago, Hard Habit to Break and many others. As a result, Soul, which must be Seal’s sleekest recording ever, became a combination of artist Seal, Motown classics and Foster’s legendary production know-how.

Soul by Seal includes A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke; I Can’t Stand the Rain by Ann Pebbles; It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World by James Brown; Here I Am (Come and Take Me) and I’m Still in Love with You by Al Green; I’ve Been Loving You Too Long by Otis Redding; If You Don’t Know Me by Now by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes; Knock on Wood by Eddie Floyd; Free by Denice Williams; Stand by Me by Ben E. King; It’s Alright and People Get Ready by Curtis Mayfield.

These are titles already enshrined in elite spots in popular music history. That means artists and producers are often reluctant to touch them for fear of not being able to do justice to the songs. Besides, it is almost a given that they would not be able to come up with something that would at least equal the excellent originals. Well, Seal dared and though he never surpassed any Motown icon, how on earth do you match James Brown! He did do very well with his interpretation of the songs. A great bonus is the fact that we have not heard most of these titles in a long, long time, like Free and I Can’t Stand the Rain and to hear them done anew by Seal is a real sweet treat.

1 comment:

Keith said...

I've seen one of the videos from this CD. I loved it. I would definitely love to get this CD. I think it looks and sounds amazing.