It didn’t take a bucket full of brains to recognise that Seal’s recent hit single ‘Crazy’ was just a tease of greater things to come.
In his sensual and assured vocals and his intense, creative songwriting lay hopes that here were the formative stages of something long lasting, influential and London-born. Seal writes (or co-writes) all the tracks, Trevor Horn produces and Anne Dudley arranges the strings. The album opens with ‘The Beginning’, a last of mid-‘70s big soul sound and eases into rambling, intriguingly shapeless jams like ‘Whirlpool’ (featuring Wendy & Lisa). In between there’s the two substantial hits, ‘Crazy’ and ‘Killer’, and the curious and complex ‘Deep Water’, set off by some agile slide guitar.
Seal brings the album to a close with ‘Violet’, a full eight minute, jazzy Latin stroll with feather-weight percussion and airy guitar chords. Throughout, Seal harnesses the material floating around in his own personal stratospheres with textured vocals, sophisticated hooks and full and fascinating orchestral arrangements. (8)