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System

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iTunes Review

Nearly 20 years after bursting out of the U.K. rave scene as the voice of Adamski’s “Killer,” Seal rediscovers his club-music roots on 2007’s System. Taking a break from longtime producer Trevor Horn, here Seal chose to work with electronic producer Stuart Price, best known for his techno remixes for artists like No Doubt, The Killers, and Coldplay. Price has a knack for turning authentic dance beats into all-inclusive pop tunes, but it's Seal who's responsible for the depth and texture of these songs. “If It’s In My Mind, It’s on My Face,” “Amazing," and “System” might feel generic if another artist sang them, but Seal uses his voice's full range to turn these light techno songs into works of beauty. Even a duet with Heidi Klum, “Wedding Day,” is saved by virtue of Seal’s gravity as a singer. The guitars in “Dumb” and “Just Like Before” suggest that these songs have roots in acoustic songwriting, but System stays remarkably faithful to its vision of club music; this is proven by “The Right Life,” the most hypnotic piece of house music Seal has made since releasing “Crazy” in 1991.

Customer Reviews

After careful thought, one of the best yet

To begin, I'm a Seal fanatic. I have listened to each of his earlier releases many, many times, and was somewhat dissapointed by Seal IV ("Waiting for You" and "Love's Divine" nonwithstanding). I certainly had high hopes about System, and when "Amazing" was released, I was even more excited. When I first listened to the album, I was, frankly, a bit dismayed. Nothing stuck with me as exceptional, save maybe the title track and "Amazing." After many listenings, however, much as I experienced with "Human Being," I have come to love this album. Even "Wedding Day," save for the rather plodding chorus, has a special place in my heart. The songs are much more Seal 1991-ish, in line with the plans to make this a dance album. "System" and "Amazing" still stand out, but "If It's...", "The Right Life," and the rest shine with great hooks, great lyrics (nothing like "Crazy," but still better than mainstream), and style like only Seal can deliver. In short, if you don't take to this album initially, give it some time. You may be surprised to discover an album much more in keeping with Seal's earlier genius than you first realized.

Whoah! Bring it on!

Seal's debut came out when I was a teenager, and with the exception of Human Being, which I picked up around the same time as Seal IV, I've gotten his albums as soon as they came out, and they have been major influences on me personally. I'd say Seal is one of the great artists in my 12,000 song music collection. And contrary to when I was younger, when I would only occasionally buy music, and each CD (if it was good) would get a lot of play time and become quite important to me, over the last few years I have been picking up as many as a dozen albums a month. Many albums don't get much play at all in my house these days. But when I downloaded this album, System, it became grossly apparent that Seal's music is still a cut above the hundreds of artists that I am getting exposed to. This is powerful stuff, and will definitely be on my "most played" playlist. As for the album, I would say that it is not as dark as Human Being, not as diverse as Seal IV, and not as R&B influenced as the 1991 album. It is some of the most accessible and highest quality synthpop you'll find. Seal being an island of sorts in the musical community, the word "synthpop" might turn you into the wrong direction by causing associations with the likes of Depeche Mode and Duran Duran. Actually, the beats on System are moderate to fairly fast paced, with almost every track being extremely danceable. Seal still manages to weave a vibe of positivity and depth into his songs with his ethereal vocals and gentle synthesizer overlays draped superbly over the brisk but deep percussion beats. Seal is still comfortable importing stringed and classical style arrangements where appropriate for some very visceral and sensitive tracks. Production is still seamless. So much so that talking about individual tracks is almost pointless. The album must be spoken of as an intricate and variegated unit of beauty that holds the listener by the hand and takes him or her on a trip through a delightful range of rhythms, blending continuously present aspects of originality and creativity with an accessibility and pleasantness finely tuned to release the maximum amount of endorphins possible. This may just be Seal's best album ever. If not, it is certainly on par with his best. This album deserves great sales and much radio time. Hurry up and download this diamond of musical delight and have a listen. You'll be impressed.

a very unique and uplifting album

This album, although very different from previous SEAL albums, contains very musically interesting and upbeat tracks. The track "System" is, in my opinion, one of SEAL's best songs to date. People who wanted a CD that sounds like SEAL's previous releases will be dissapointed, but after all... if you want to listen to a CD that sounds like SEAL's old albums, LISTEN TO ONE OF SEALS OLD ALBUMS! I really admire SEAL for offering something new and fresh on this NEW release, even if it means taking risks.

Biography

Born: February 19, 1963 in Paddington, London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Seal emerged from England's house music scene in 1990 to become the most popular British soul vocalist of that decade. Although his earliest material still showed signs of acid house, by the mid-'90s he was known for a distinctive fusion of soul, folk, pop, dance, and rock that brought him success on both sides of the Atlantic. Early on, he enjoyed a very high level of success -- an Ivor Novello Award was given to him for the writing of his first single, and he won three Grammy Awards only a few...
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System, Seal
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