OH BOY, HOW I used to love Seal.
I first fell in love with the big, London-bred Nigerian one in the late '90s, when his third album, Human Being, was released. That perfect LP - deep and raw, with a coat of gloss - would be his creative high. It was Top 40 pacification after that; deadly dull covers, and lashings of that tedious German bint (Heidi, of course. Well it would be, wouldn't it?)
Kiss From A Rose never did it for me, but Bring It On, and 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? Future Love Paradise? No Easy Way? They're deep as f**k.
After that third album, there was a drought, punctuated by the unreleased Togetherland, and then in 2003, the glossy, box-ticking exercise that was Seal IV. He did bring it on, but it wasn't alive, it was stillborn.
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).
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. A prayer for the dying, anyone?