Album Review – Sebastian Mikael, Speechless

I wanted to emphasize the two songs I have already written about, Forever and Made Me, before writing about the whole album. Now that I have broken those down thoroughly, I can go through the whole Speechless album by Sebastian Mikael. It sticks to pure RnB and resembles a smooth combination of Chris Brown and Usher while staying strictly original and unique. I think highly of Sebastian Mikael’s music, and any other RnB fan usually does. Of course I will be as neutral as possible while examining the music.

So let us break down this album track-by-track:

1. Last Night ft. Wale – Last Night was the most successful individual song on Speechless, with rightful cause. The song has a catchy sound and adds a solid rap verse for good measure. I have felt that Wale has been in decline since his Ambition album, but I was impressed by his work on Last Night. Sebastian Mikael’s vocals sound beautiful and compliment the beat well. It is truly hard to find a flaw in this song, and I am glad that this became such a hit. I cannot lie either, this song is excellent. 9.75/10

2. 4 U ft. Rick Ross –  5 U (typo was intended for sarcastic purposes) adds another good feature for an up-and-coming artist with Rick Ross. I thought the verse was impressive, if slightly off-focus here and there. Rick Ross did a better job than usual of staying on topic and using better rhymes. Sebastian Mikael still sounds incredible, though his voice is dominated a bit too much by the beat. The upbeat pace is catchy and this is another excellent song on the album. 9/10

3. Forever – Already broke this song down here. I consider this the best song on the album, right above Last Night. I can still say I love this song and hope everyone who reads this can hear it.

4. Made For Me – Literally just broke this down here for emphasis purposes. I had a lot to say about the song and could not contain it in one album review.

5. Speechless – We finally get a song that truly focuses on the vocal talent of Sebastian Mikael. I loved the guitar behind his mellow voice and wish this track was longer. The lyrics feel a bit rushed at times, and slowing down would probably not only fulfill my first wish of length, but also emphasize his talent even more and be able to provide Sebastian Mikael with an extra ego boost. I find this a huge showcase of talent though regardless. 9/10

6. Thinkin About You Girl – The instant throwback Hip-Hop sound of Thinkin About You Girl was right away reeling. His voice sounds more like Chris Brown’s pure vocals on this track than any other. The RnB/Soul vibe of this song is prominent and makes it quite enjoyable. It tends to appeal to more RnB lovers than anyone else, so most likely if you are not into that thing, this may not be the song for you. 9/10

7. Kiss Me – This song, while staying on pace with the rest of the album’s sound, is probably my least favorite on the album. The echo on the vocals throughout is disappointing and the song as a whole just feels too over-edited. The problem is how concealed and hidden Sebastian Mikael’s voice feels when it should be the emphasis of the whole LP. The overall song still has a mellow and relaxing sound to it, and the fact that a song this good is my least favorite means the album is one of the best this year. 7.75/10

8. Lose It – Now that we are back to the incredible pure gift of Sebastian Mikael’s voice, we get Lose It, which shows off his vocal range and talent. The beat follows the vocals while standing out and making the song the beautiful melody it should be. This comes close to being one of the best songs on the album, and is very-well placed in the titles as well. The muffled follow-out is slightly early, but that is honestly the only complaint I have, and we had a similar issue with Forever, my favorite song on Speechless. 9.5/10

9. Crash – The harmonizing on this song resembles Chris Brown’s Forever but with my favorite RnB sound. The beat goes well with the song and the song continues to give listeners the beautiful vocals of Sebastian Mikael. It is closer to Pop than most of the other songs, and I do like the change up. Another close call for personal favorite on the album, though the repetition throws off the appeal slightly. 9.25/10

10. Beautiful Life – Produced by Sebastian Mikael himself is Beautiful Life. Ending an album well is a difficult feat, and I was curious to see how he would finish off an incredible album like Speechless. I believe that Sebastian Mikael knew to add more of his own pure vocals by the end of the album, and I loved hearing it at the end of the album while the quiet acoustic and drums in the back supported him. The song has a catchy hook and excellent vocals, with focus on his sound. An amazing way to close out the album. 9.75/10

So that averages out to a little over 9.25/10, which is appropriate for a nearly-perfect album like Speechless. I consider this one of the best RnB albums of the year and can only hope to hear more soon. My only desire is more emphasis on his own voice and perhaps less on the music behind it.

In essence, this whole album is an RnB fan’s dream. I recommend a listen to the whole album, but if you cannot hear all of it, I would recommend everything at 9/10 and above.

Go ahead and head over to DJBooth.net to stream the whole album, and you can buy it on iTunes here. Check it out:

http://www.djbooth.net/index/albums/review/sebastian-mikael-speechless#stream

-Austin Heath

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Music Recommendation – Single – Sebastian Mikael ft. Teyana Taylor, Made For Me

I have gone on about my love for Sebastian Mikeal’s voice before, so it goes without saying that I usually am on the lookout for any new music by the RnB crooner. Meanwhile, Teyana Taylor has returned go all-out Rihanna and adds her vocals to the song. Here we get a passionate combination of two excellent RnB voices.

Sebastian Mikael’s voice is drowned out a bit by the guitar and percussion, but Teyana Taylor uses her opportunity to stand out. Both voices lean towards the deeper side and perform a slow love duet. The song as a whole has a bit of a psychedelic feel that provides the relaxing RnB vibes that the genre specializes in.

Together, the artists sound incredible together. The synth-work at the end reminds me of The Weeknd, and I find it a shame that both artists had to have their own separate verses before combing together to make a beautiful duet.

Overall, I would rate the song at 8.75/10. You can listen to the song below and see what you think of it:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Sebastian Mikael, Forever

Sebastian Mikael is starting to get some more attention of late, but I think this song is definitely worth showing off. I cannot see this not being worth a listen from anyone, RnB fan or not. I know my girlfriend, who hardly likes RnB, found this song quite appealing.

Sebastian Mikael sings Forever about a woman he wants to to stay with, well, forever. His pitch is genuine and varying, while he provides a beautiful hook with the perfect amount of editing. The voice-overs on the hooks seem a little much, but at some points it makes the song even more incredible.

Forever is just one of those songs that it would be hard not to like after the first listen, and if not a second try might be worth it. His humming at the end is a little disappointing, but the beat keeps the song alive and fades out solidly. Overall, I give this track a 9.5/10. Go ahead and give it a listen below:

-Austin Heath