Seal

Human Being

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U.K. pop sensation Seal has become notorious for taking extended breaks between albums (usually up to four years). On his third album, Human Being, producer Trevor Horn again joins Seal, and as on his past releases, life's trials and tribulations are used as the basis for the song's subject matter and lyrics (broken relationships, death, etc.). Horn again helps Seal achieve an unbelievably sonically rich album -- with each listen, you hear something you didn't before. The moderately paced, grooving opening track, "Human Beings," merges Seal's trademark soothing and crooned vocals with lyrics that deal with the highly publicized deaths of gangsta rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G.. Directly after, three instant Seal classics follow -- the gentle "State of Grace" and "Just Like You," plus the dance-rocker "Latest Craze." Other highlights include the ethereal beauty of "Still Love Remains," the gradually building "Excerpt From," and the moving "Colour." Although Seal fans might grow impatient with such long breaks between albums, the pop perfection of Human Being turns out to be well worth the wait.

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