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Seal & r & & r & System & r & & r & 2 STARS & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & I & lt;/span & had a roommate once who loved that Seal song "Crazy" -- he'd play it over and over. Then Seal proved he was more than a one-hit wonder with his killer 1994 CD Seal that had "Prayer for the Dying" and "A Kiss From a Rose." Then he put out a bunch of crap and married Heidi Klum. I really wanted to write about how Seal is back, but... not so much.





There are a couple sparks that I'm sure are getting remixed for Manhattan dance floors -- "System," "If It's In My Mind, It's On My Face" -- but the rest... not so much. There's one song, however, I'm sure will live on at tacky nuptials -- "Wedding Day." Heidi sings, too, and she's not bad, but... listen: "In my heart, a place / a most special place / and it's all for you / You're my girl, my angel."





"Crazy" I could live with, but if I had to hear that over and over, I'd move out.





--Ted S. McGregor Jr.





DOWNLOAD: "System"








Bon Iver


For Emma, Forever Ago


4 STARS


& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & T & lt;/span & he product of four months of solitude in a cabin in northern Wisconsin, Justin Vernon's debut as Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago, is a tantalizingly slow, subtle affair. Fans of acoustic folk will immediately identify with the acoustic strumming, but the occasional bombastic horn section keeps the record for being too monotonously morose. Vernon's quavering falsetto evokes Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio, soulful and seemingly effortless. Though the lyrics are relatively simple tracts on loneliness and heartache, they're carried well by the powerful vehicle of that voice. Bon Iver means "good winter" in French -- an appropriate moniker, as For Emma is a perfect record to listen to while curling up next to a fire and watching the snow fall outside. It's a slow burner, a favored underdog, and marks Bon Iver as an artist to watch closely in the future.





-- Jeff Echert





DOWNLOAD: "Skinny Love"
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