12 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It'd be erroneous to call any of Seal’s albums “gritty,” but 2003's Seal IV has a blues-based punchiness that can’t be found in his other works. You can hear it right away in “Get It Together” and “Waiting for You,” both of which have a surprisingly authentic ‘70s R&B feel. Seal IV has the air of an album that was played live in the studio. Part of that comes from the participation of Mark Batson: a classically trained pianist who cowrote and produced six tracks and would go on to become a renowned rap producer for the likes of Dr. Dre and Eminem. While Batson’s tracks are immediately recognizable for their earthy, organic feel—just check out the gutsy “Let Me Roll” or the Beatles-inflected reggae track “Where There’s Gold”—Seal’s longtime producer Trevor Horn is on hand to assert the more classical side of the singer's sound; see the softly brooding performances of “Tinsel Town” and “Loneliest Star” and the light electronica of “My Vision.” And witness the chamber orchestrations of “Don’t Make Me Wait”: an Otis Redding tearjerker dressed up in a tuxedo at the Philharmonic.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It'd be erroneous to call any of Seal’s albums “gritty,” but 2003's Seal IV has a blues-based punchiness that can’t be found in his other works. You can hear it right away in “Get It Together” and “Waiting for You,” both of which have a surprisingly authentic ‘70s R&B feel. Seal IV has the air of an album that was played live in the studio. Part of that comes from the participation of Mark Batson: a classically trained pianist who cowrote and produced six tracks and would go on to become a renowned rap producer for the likes of Dr. Dre and Eminem. While Batson’s tracks are immediately recognizable for their earthy, organic feel—just check out the gutsy “Let Me Roll” or the Beatles-inflected reggae track “Where There’s Gold”—Seal’s longtime producer Trevor Horn is on hand to assert the more classical side of the singer's sound; see the softly brooding performances of “Tinsel Town” and “Loneliest Star” and the light electronica of “My Vision.” And witness the chamber orchestrations of “Don’t Make Me Wait”: an Otis Redding tearjerker dressed up in a tuxedo at the Philharmonic.

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