Saturday, July 30, 2011
Sεαl - S/T (1991)
Every decade has them - albums that define an era, sonic checkpoints of evolution between disparate audiences and generations. As far as the 90's go, there are a number of albums that did that for a lot of people: Nirvana's Nevermind, Nas's debut, Wu Tang circa 36 Chambers, Primal Scream's infamous Screamadelica...
..but even with that classic lineup of records, there was this one that sits just a bit higher on the chain in my eyes, underrated despite its massive success in its heyday. One soulful voice from a scarred darksome British fellow coupled with some wicked good production values (courtesy of former Yes-man Trevor Horn) that blew away the power ballads and synth-driven "funk" of a rather artificial era with a deadly, catchy new kind of ambient pop-neo soul. Layered and transcendent, it set the bar so high that nobody could even get their fingers around it. And in 2011, that brilliance still blinds as ageless things do.
You all know 'Kissed From A Rose' from Seal's later years. Now it's time to listen to go back to where he started and let your minds go numb in fascination to a genuine classic.