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.
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