No one can deny the indelible influence that soul music has had on contemporary pop artists.
Just ask British soul singer Seal, who is paying his debt to the all the old school R&B musicians who paved the way for him.
He dedicated an entire album to his musical heroes with his 2008 album Soul, pouring his heart out on classic tracks such as “A Change Is Gonna Come” “People Get Ready” and Ben E. King’s warm ballad “Stand By Me.”
Now, he’s back with another ode to the icons in the form of Soul 2, which comes out today.
Famed record producer David Foster once again teamed up with the vocalist to put a contemporary spin on some of our favorite R&B tunes from the 60s and 70s.
The album is filled with standard love tunes and the occasional socially-conscience tracks from Marvin Gaye and the O’ Jays.
Seal brings a level of sincerity and compassion to every song, especially on the Rolls Royce slow jams “Wishing On A Star” and “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore.”
But, after listening to the album, it didn’t leave me with a complete feeling of satisfaction, but more so with the thought of “haven’t we heard this before.”
Other than more traditional material, there’s nothing new or special on Soul 2 that we didn’t already get from the first Soul album.
Seal has already proven that he can burn up a timeless soul record with his raspy, yet smooth vocals.
But, after 12 or so classic songs, I think its time that he got back to doing something new, instead of trying to relive the past.
Many British artists such as The Beatles made a name for themselves by covering famous R&B tunes, but needless to say, Seal has already solidified himself as a talented vocalist both here and overseas.
I’d much rather hear some new, creative material from Seal, rather than see him emulate the method of so many other British crossover acts.
But, we can only hope for the best.
Noteworthy tracks: “Love T.K.O” “I’ll Be Around”