OH BOY, HOW I used to love Seal.
I first fell in love with the big, London-bred Nigerian one in the late '90s, with the release of his third album, Human Being. That near perfect album - deep and raw, with a coat of gloss - would be his creative high. After that, it was Top 40 desperation and deadly dull covers.
His biggest hit, Kiss From A Rose, never did it for me, but Bring It On, Alive, and Newborn Friend hit the spot. Crazy is still intoxicating, and Killer is as serrating and electrifying as it ever was. And have you ever heard Come See What Love Has Done, from the Killer EP? How about No Easy Way? "Close your heart / Close your eyes / Fake a kiss and / Say goodbye / When you know it's not the way / And you're leaving home today..." Or how about Future Love Paradise.
After that third album, there was a drought, and talk of Togetherland, his next album. It was never released. In 2003, the heavily-marketed, box-ticking exercise that was Seal IV emerged, stillborn. The '90s were over.
Seal's last master-stroke, maybe, was 2003's awesome Love's Divine, a truly perfect record, blessed with a perfect video of epic proportions, directed by Sanji Senaka (who also helmed The Pharcyde's Passin' Me By).
And as When A Man Is Wrong (my favourite Seal song) goes, "sometimes I get thing wrong to get things right." Perhaps one we'll get '90s Seal back. Prayer for the dying, anyone?