Seal Iv

Seal Iv

Artist: Seal

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Format: CD
Label: WARNER BROS / WEA
Catalog: 794721
Genre: Rock/Pop
Rel. Date: 09/09/2003
UPC: 093624794721

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''Seal'' is the fourth album (and third self-titled album) by Seal. It follows the aborted sessions for ''Togetherland'', which was scrapped because Seal thought it was not up to the standard of his previous work. To avoid confusion with past albums, the album is sometimes referred to informally as ''Seal IV''. - Wikipedia

If you hold the cardboard jewel case of Seal IV up so that the light shines directly on it, something odd happens: Seal suddenly looks exactly like an alien. It's really uncanny. The cover is one of those die-cut jobs on which Seal's name-as-logo and the features of his face and the collar of his black leather jacket are raised, so his eyes (including the eyeballs), nose, mouth, and ears all take on the aspect of a Steve Ditko villain. Even more striking, the trademark scars that line the British singer's face are outlined and indented on the cover, a rather odd marketing decision.

Happily, Seal doesn't sound like an alien on Seal IV, which must relieve his family greatly. What he does sound like is a perfectly reasonable, sincere guy, and a lot of the rest of us might start wishing he did sound like an alien, because he's a little boring. "Maybe we can be the vision of a perfect man's dream," he sings on the supper-club disco "Get It Together"-except he might actually be singing "perfect mainstream." Either phrase fits: "Perfect man's dream" with its gauzy, vaguely new-agey mystical connotations, "perfect mainstream" for Seal's musical m.o., the made-for-
radio, blend-in-with-the-background style he's been stirring ever so steadily for a decade-plus. The songs occasionally pep up-"Waiting for You" is fairly forceful in that mid '80s Peter Gabriel-doing-a-Stax homage kind of way-but mostly the tempos vacillate between mid, medium, and moderate. Making fun of yuppies is so tired it's no fun at all, but sometimes you have no choice.