By Neil Drumming
Updated November 09, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST
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System

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Seal returns to his house-music roots with this fifth studio album — just don’t expect to be swept up in ecstatic dance-floor escapism. Though the soaring synths and four-to-the-floor beats recall strobe-lit discos of a bygone era, his lyrics remain grounded in the sort of heart-wrenching poignancy that anchored his most popular ballads. ”Everyone says you’re amazing now that you’re clean/Does anyone ask you?” he sings over handclaps and cathedral-size chords on ”Amazing.” Even when System‘s rigid tempos grow tedious, its words still move you.
DOWNLOAD THIS: ”The Right Life”

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System

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