Album review: Seal - Soul 2

The UK’s gold-plated pop-soul tsar gives an unsuspecting public a second dose of cover versions of all-time classics. Handily, just in time for Christmas.

It’s hard not to be cynical. It’s Christmas, it’s a covers album, and its predecessor sold 3 million copies worldwide.

While Seal resolves to go write some of his own stuff next in the liner notes, what we have in the meantime are 11 cuts of mostly ‘70s romantic soul, dolled up and buffed to a blinding sheen, accompanied by his trademark scuffed soul vocal.

And there’s the rub. Even tackling such classics as Love Don’t Live Here Anymore, Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together and Marvin Gaye’s What’s Goin’ On, Seal’s spot-on delivery has delicacy and guts on tap.

The arrangements ape the originals far too slavishly, which can be frustrating, but his take on Wishing On A Star is a genuinely spine-tingling moment.

4 stars