Thursday, January 6, 2011

Impressive Song, Lousy Presentation, The One-Track Single Of "Crazy" By Seal Is Not Worth Buying.

The Good: Good vocals, Good instrumental accompaniment, Decent lyrics
The Bad: Poor use of medium, Identical to album cut.
The Basics: Crazy may be one of the best songs Seal ever produced and one of the best debut singles of all time, but the one-track version is not worth buying.

Fear not, those awaiting the return of my Artist Of The Month! My first works from new artists will be rolling in by March and I shall be immersing myself in them in time to present new music reviews then! That means my reviews of singles shall come to an end by then (hopefully for a long while!) and I am excited about that. I'm excited because it means that, among other things, I shall no longer have to listen to albums like the one-track single of "Crazy" by Seal.

Don't get me wrong, I like Seal's breakout song. The song is powerful and melodic and well worth the attention of listeners everywhere. It is also available in this identical form on Seal's debut album as well as his greatest hits album. It is arguably the essential Seal single and it has found its way onto other compilations as well. As a result, this single, which only has the one track, the album cut of "Crazy" is very much not worth buying.

With only a single track occupying less than five minutes, "Crazy" is a poor use of the c.d. medium's extended capacity. Even so, it is a decent example of Seal's musical talents. Seal wrote the song and performs the lead vocals on it. He was not, however, involved with the programming of the track or the production of it.

"Crazy," for those who have not heard, is a song which is dark and deep and is about the crushing weight of modern society and how it makes people feel. With a strong percussion section, "Crazy" is one of the best pop songs of the 1990s as it combines danceable beats with deep bass and synth songs to create an instantly recognizable melody. The murky tune is an undertone of sound to accompany the vocals of Seal and it is the perfect musical accompaniment, often blending with his vocals and echoing his performance of key lines. This is a strongly percussion and keyboard-driven song.

Vocally, Seal performs with clear, deep vocals which are able to go into higher tenor registers to make the musical protagonist seem like he is experiencing angst. Seal's vocals are articulate and clear, so every word in the song can be heard. He is melodic and he harmonizes with the bass very well.

Lyrically, "Crazy" is a mood piece and a wonderful poem. While some of the lines like "One of them got a gun to shoot the other one" are less lyrically complicated, the song does a decent job of portraying chaos and angst. When Seal sings "While those around him criticize and sleep / And through a fracture on that breaking wall / I see you my friend and touch your face again / Miracles will happen as we trip / But we're never gonna survive unless / We get a little crazy" it is hard not to feel both confused and euphoric. The lines capture well the uncertainty of letting go and allowing insanity and ridiculousness to creep into our lives.

But at the end of the day, this is a one-song single and that song is commonly available on multiple albums and, less expensively, as a digital download. Because Seal isn't providing any b-sides with this single, there's no reason to hunt it down or purchase it.

For other reviews of singles, please check out my takes on:
Don't Look Back In Anger - Oasis
Right Beside You - Sophie B. Hawkins
Nowhere To Go - Melissa Etheridge


For other music reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here for an organized listing!

© 2011, 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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