When Seal was a teenager in England, a new wave of American soul turned his head. “I remember songs like ‘Love T.K.O.’ and ‘Wishing on a Star’ and ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’ — I just remember those songs being so unique-sounding when they came on the radio,” he says. “They had a big impact on me, because they were just very different from a lot of R&B that we were hearing. They were huge influences on my life and my outlook on writing music when I was growing up.”
Seal pays loving homage to that vibrant time in his own musical life with Soul 2, his eighth studio album, bringing his immense talents and deep sensibilities to songs that were coming out of Detroit, Memphis and especially Philadelphia, a sound that in England became known as Northern Soul. Working with producer Trevor Horn (who launched Seal’s career and produced his first four albums) and on four songs David Foster (who produced Seal’s first foray into the classics catalog, the international hit 2008 album Soul, and 2010‘s Commitment), Seal at once internalizes and evokes the spirit of such musical giants as Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, Smokey Robinson, Bill Withers, the Spinners and the O’Jays.
Recording was done in settings ranging from elaborate orchestra sessions to a few vocals performed in Horn’s garage. The result is a variety of inventive textures, maximizing the spirit of both the songs and the singer. Support came from a wealth of all-star musicians, including Horn on bass and guitar, Foster on keyboards, with orchestral and brass arrangements by Pete Murray, Julian Hinton and Foster.
Seal’s first Soul album captured, by-and-large, the spirit of the ‘60s, with songs of Sam Cooke (a glorious version of “A Change Is Gonna Come”), Otis Redding among others, selling 3 million copies worldwide and standing as the top-selling album of the decade in France. Soul 2 leans more to the ‘70s, digging deep into a time in which artists explored new heights of personal expression and cultural openness with equal measures of inventive creativity and populist immediacy. As a set it features love songs (the Chi-Lites’ “Oh Girl,” Smokey Robinson & the Miracles’ “Ooo Baby Baby”), out-of-love songs (Pendergrass’ “Love T.K.O.,” Rose Royce’s “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”) and some that are both (the Spinners’ “I’ll Be Around”)
When: Saturday, July 28, 2012 – 8:00PM
Where: Chastain Park Amphitheater – 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta, GA
Tickets: $25 – $74
What super model is Seal currently married to??
Deadline: Friday, July 27, 2012