By Tyler Finigan
After dipping into the mainstream, Seal’s new album, Commitment, reminds us of the soulful, soft-beat roots of R&B that we’ve all forgotten to love.
Commitment is simply the ultimate guilty pleasure for anyone who likes to sit on a giant comfy chair, in the middle of their room, while looking through their window, to reminisce about the days of old.
The album, an homage to his “Kiss From a Rose” days, forms a sort of nostalgic aura, which gives the album its original appeal. Ballad after ballad, it creates this ladder of passion which, with each step, brings a whole other level of intense heart felt choruses and teary eyed piano bridges.
From its light hearted and choiresque beginning to its darker, orchestrated ending, it’s Seal’s seasoned and raspy vocals that tie everything together. On the one hand, in a few songs, the back track diminishes the quality of the track, because it stains the vocals. On the other hand you have these heart pounding power ballads that feature barely any instruments at all.
“I Know What You Did” for example, gives you all the elements of a full fledge ballad, yet it was recorded with only Seal playing his piano. Like a flickering torch, his voice emerges from the silence. He levels you to this mellow understanding of life, and the lyrics, simple yet powerful, add to the trance brought up by the “sunset” rhythm featured in the track.
One thing about the album that keeps you listening is that not one song is the same. Each song varies in tempo, rhythm and style, which makes Seal’s new album original and enjoyable.
“The Weight of My Mistakes,” the second track on the LP, has more of a 90’s pop style that makes you want to sway back and forth in your driver’s seat while cruising around the block. The chorus highlights Seal’s tenor and legendary range without a hitch.
At first, the album can be a pretty boring one, but with every listen, it gets better. The songs have more meaning and the music isn’t just an accompanying track, but a neighbouring factor to Seal’s “fine wine” vocals.
Seal has come a long way from his first album, yet it’s his commitment to his fans and the music from his early career that fuel this album, making it a definite gem and a breath of sweet 90’s air.