Warming Up with a Soulful Seal
In 2003, I watched the BET Walk of Fame ceremony for Aretha Franklin when to my surprise British pop singer SEAL performed Ree Ree’s 1971 hit “Rock Steady”. I remember thinking: Wow, he should do an R & B album.
Fast forward to 2008 and Seal releases Soul which covers James Brown, Harold Melvin + The Blue Notes, Otis Redding and Deniece Williams among others. My initial thought was that Seal had either lost his mind covering such a legendary line-up of soul singers or he was going to make me regret my hesitation.
I grew up listening to those legendary artists thanks to my parents stellar music collection, so I was very aware of the original performances and even though music critics slammed the album, I bought Soul anyway. I don’t regret it.
What I like about Soul is that Seal didn’t change the harmonies or musical arrangements for the most part, but rather delivered classic soul songs with a Seal twist. I can hear the essence of Sam Cooke, Al Green or Teddy Pendergrass in Seal’s performances and that’s refreshing. Now that it’s getting chilly outside, it’s the perfect time to feed my music obsession, so I’ve started regular listening parties and Seal’s warm and soulful tribute is in regular rotation.
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