The album represents the duos first collection of original material since 2003, having previously created such defining hits as ‘Kiss From A Rose’, ‘Killer’ and ‘Crazy’.
Throughout ‘7’, Seal explores love and all of its implications, idiosyncrasies, and intricacies.
‘The album concerns the most sung about, most talked about, and most documented emotion ‘ love,’ he explains. ‘I tried to capture all of the wonderfully different dynamics of love, whether it’s the anger, the acceptance, the bliss, the sadness, the elation, or the recklessness. It’s this emotion and the ways it makes us feel. It’s about the extreme joy and the extreme regret as well as all of the crazy things love makes us do.’
The album’s first single ‘Do You Ever’ was today premiered by Ken Bruce at Radio 2.
‘7’ restarts Seal’s storied partnership with Trevor Horn that began with his 1991 #1 debut album ‘Seal’ and continued with the huge #1 follow-up ‘Seal II’ (1994), 1998’s ‘Human Being’, 2003’s ‘Seal IV’, and most recently ‘Soul 2’ (2011). As a result, there’s an unspoken, yet unbreakable bond they share.
‘We barely spoke about music in the studio,’ Seal admits. ‘We talked more about life and our relationship over the years. He just understands how to place my voice. On the one hand, you have this elaborate production and signature of Trevor Horn, but you never lose sight of what it is I’m saying. That’s the narrative. There’s no producer who understands how to sustain and keep focused on the narrative of my voice and what I’m trying to say better than Trevor does. He pushes me, and we left it all on the court. He taught me a work ethic and approach to making records that will stay with me until the day I die.’
One of the album’s highlights is ‘Every Time I’m With You’ which begins with a stark piano melody punctuated by Seal’s instantly recognisable croon before it builds into a climactic, soulful refrain that resounds over a rich musical panorama.
‘I just tried to imagine the one thing your significant other would most want to hear from you,’ he says. ‘You ask your partner, ‘Why do you love me? Why are you with me?’ and the response is, ‘There are many reasons, but one of the main reasons is, every time I’m with you, I feel wanted.’ I can’t think of many things that are more beautiful, which I’d either want to say or hear. It was my attempt at being romantic! Whether or not, I achieved it, only time will tell,’ he laughs.
Elsewhere on the album, Seal goes right to the heart of the club with a ‘Life On The Dancefloor’ which pairs a syncopated house beat wrapped in horns with a massive hook. He artfully juxtaposes that spark with the intense wail of ‘Padded Cell’ bolstered by propulsive synths and a robust delivery. However, the record’s centrepiece is his personal favourite, the sombre yet striking ‘The Big Love Has Died’. Everything culminates on ‘Love’. Pairing his voice with just a piano, it’s his most vulnerable and vital moment as he declares, ‘Love only makes you strong, love only makes you heal, love only hates with love.’