Seal – 7

Date Fri, October 30 2015

Can I be honest with you? I mean, I’m always honest with my readers. It’s kinda my thing. But I digress.

In the name of honesty, I’d have to tell you that I haven’t thought about Seal, the singer, in this decade. Or the last one, really. I absolutely adore “Kiss from a Rose” and “Crazy,” but the most recent of those songs was released over 20 years ago, and they remain Seal’s biggest hits to date.

Plus, I don’t watch The Voice in this or any other country, so I had no idea Seal was still so, well, relevant! The latest I knew of him was that he split from ex-wife and model Heidi Klum. Apparently that was three freakin’ years ago. Where has the time gone?

The ability to review Seal’s latest album has been quite the education, shall we say?

7 is aptly named as it’s Seal’s seventh album. He likes to name albums in a straight-to-the-point manner. There’s been Seal, Seal 2, Seal IV, Seal 6, Soul and Soul 2 and now 7. There’s a couple in there that don’t follow the obvious pattern.

This is actually the firm album since Seal’s divorce. You might think that the breakup, which was all over the news, would have him shy away from the topic of love, but that’s what every Seal song has been about. With 7, you realize that some things never change. For Seal, it’s singing about love, no matter what his own love life currently looks like.

It seems that his own love life has heavily influenced Seal. In 7, there’s a lot of songs reflecting on a previous relationship and breakup. While some artists will argue what they’re singing about isn’t about them, I would doubt that in the case of Seal and his most recent album. Song after song allows him to express his heartbreak and sorrow.

It starts with “Daylight Saving,” in which Seal gets right to the point with lyrics like

But we’re not still together

We’re not the same

Because nothing lasts forever

See what I mean? Sad maybe but enjoyable nonetheless, especially if you’re going through your own heartbreak.

But Seal isn’t without hope, it seems. In the very next song, “Every Time I’m With You”, he picks up on the idea of not being same but explaining that’s what makes it “perfect.” The lyrics discuss the risk of love but the hopeful feeling that comes with it. You can give it a listen yourself below.

Many of the songs have a slower and softer R&B feel like we’d expect from Seal. However, few of them seem as radio friendly as “Crazy” or have the dramatic buildup of “Kiss from a Rose.” “Do You Ever,” which has already been released on Seal’s Youtube channel, offers a bit of that drama, but it’s not quite enough for me.

I personally like “Redzone Killer” the best. It’s a bit faster. I could definitely see a remix being played on the radio or dance floor, even though I like it just fine.

I’m also quite enamored with “Padded Cell.” Check out the audio below.

Seal describes how it feels to have a “million different people living inside of” him and how he’s in a padded cell because of it. The electronic sound and play with vocals is a nice break from more of the same on the rest of 7, and it looks like it’s going to be one of Seal’s single from 7!

Finally, I do have to comment “Half a Heart” for being both pleasing to my ears and interesting lyrically. It’s got a little tropical inspiration paired with Seal’s gravelly voice singing about how his heart has been split in half — a great combination! And lyrics like the following really get me:

I tried to get you out my system

I lied when I said I didn’t miss you

My mind is falling apart

But I can’t convince this half of my heart

And I’ve been trying to erase you

And I’ve, I’ve been dying to replace you

But time won’t let me restart

Our sweetest dreams have fallen apart

You’re the only piece that fits

The only piece that fits

This half of my heart

I think the way these lyrics rhyme is similar to the way I write poetry sometimes. Perhaps that’s why I like it. I’m not sure whether Seal with release “Half a Heart” as a single, but I definitely think he should.

I’m not sold on most of the singles from 7, and I think Seal and his team need to consider some of the peppier songs to draw in new fans. There’s only so much sadness that listeners can take, which may very well be the downfall of this album, which does offer some solid tracks. His Youtube channel already has audio of half the album, and I expect the other tracks will follow soon if you want to check them out.

If you’re already a Seal fan and know you want 7, you can buy it on iTunes and from Amazon.

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