Our music pick today for the 2017 Popcult Gift Guide is a surprising new release from legendary British Soul singer, Seal, Standards. Over the course of his astounding career, acclaimed singer-songwriter, Seal, has sold over 50 million albums globally. With this album Seal takes on Rat Pack-era standards, with some terrific arrangements, and shows how versatile his voice can be.
To add authenticity to the album, Seal chose to work with musicians who played with the legendary artists he covers on the record. Standards includes contributions from pianist Randy Waldman (Frank Sinatra); bassist Chuck Berghofer (Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles); and drummer Greg Fields (Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder).
Seal also recorded much of the album in some of the same spaces where the original classics were put to tape, including the iconic Capitol Records in Los Angeles as well as Frank Sinatra’s United Studios (where “It Was a Very Good Year” was recorded). According to the man himself, “This is the album I have always wanted to make. I grew up listening to music from the Rat Pack era, so recording these timeless tunes was a lifelong dream. It was a true honour to collaborate with the same musicians who performed with Frank Sinatra and so many of my favourite artists, in the very same studios where the magic was first made – it was one of the greatest days of my recording career.”
Standards find’s Seal’s signature, velvety warm vocals bringing to life classics made popular by Frank Sinatra (“Luck Be A Lady,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “It Was A Very Good Year”), Ella Fitzgerald (“I’m Beginning to See The Light”) and Nina Simone (“I Put A Spell on You”). He tackles many classic tunes, and you’ll probably want to get the Deluxe edition, which boasts three bonus songs, including a couple of Christmas classics. Some of the tracks on this album swing hard enough that you’ll be hearing them on upcoming episodes of The Swing Shift, on The AIR.
This is the perfect gift for any fan of Seal, and anyone who loves songs from the Great American Songbook. Standards can be found in any store that sells new music. Check out the sampler video below…