On The Download: Seal’s ‘6: Commitment’

Seal is back with his first studio album of original material since 2003, and the wait was well worth it. On “6: Commitment,” Seal returns to making the same amazing music (in the vein of his previous mega-hits “Kiss from a Rose” and “Crazy”) which launched him to superstardom in the ‘90s. The album is infinitely listenable – the singer’s beautiful voice a soothing antidote to the stress of the world – and it should have more widespread appeal and sales that it has initially received.

Two weeks ago, Access Hollywood debuted the video for lead single, “Secret,” which features intimate moments between Seal and his wife, supermodel Heidi Klum. In fact, as Seal told Access last week, it was Heidi’s idea for them to do the video together. Of course, Heidi told Access that she would have been upset if Seal had shot the video with an actress, instead of with his own wife.

Yet even without the racy video behind it, the song itself is a ballad as touching as Seal has ever produced. The music on this track reminds me of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You,” and it sticks with you long after first listen.

WATCH Seal’s “Secret” video HERE.

The album’s lead two songs – “If I’m Any Closer” and “Weight of my Mistakes” – are also amongst the finest the singer has ever produced. “Closer” is an upbeat number, which could potentially break through if it ends up on the right soundtrack. “Weight” has an almost jazz feel to it.

CLICK HERE to learn Three Things You Don’t Know… about Seal.

Seal does ballads as well as any male vocalist today, and he repeats the feat on tracks “Silence,” “All For Love,” and “You Get Me.” Another ballad, “I Know What You Did,” feels like a gentle lullaby based upon heartbreak. Accompanied by beautifully haunting musical arrangements, it’s one of the standout tracks on the album for me.

Closing song “Big Time” ends the album on the same upbeat note on which it began. Yet another intensely personal song, it plays like a conversation between Seal and his wife about life in the spotlight.

I’ve always thought of Seal as the male Tracy Thorn (the female vocal half of ‘90s band Everything But The Girl) – as British contemporaries, they produce a genre of ethereal chill out music that is largely absent on this side of the pond. His voice is infinitely distinguished and nuanced, and his vast emotional maturity is expressed delicately through his incredible instrument.

Of course, while Seal has himself matured, the music that makes in on to the Top 40 charts in the U.S. has not, so his new album will likely see minimal radio play beyond Adult Contemporary stations. The album debuted at #31 on Billboard’s album charts, and likely won’t move much higher. However, if there’s any justice in the music industry… it certainly should. If you’re a fan, the album is worth buying. If you’re not yet…it’s time to get on board and discover this amazing vocalist & artist, who is so much more than just Heidi’s husband.

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