Covering any song bears with it a certain weight. You have to respect the artist’s intent in the original song while still making the song your own to avoid it becoming simply derivative. So when I first saw that Seal had covered Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come”, arguably one of the greatest songs of the ’60’s and the penultimate song of the civil rights movement, I was incredulous to say the least. After all, I only knew Seal from being married to Heidi Klum and his cover of a Steve Miller Band song for one awesome movie, but Soul was apparently his sixth studio album and was released in 2008 with “A Change is Gonna Come” as its lead single.”
Yet, all of my incredulousness was shot away from the line. Sure, it’s a little blasphemous–Seal simply isn’t Sam Cooke–but the his version still had a certain punch. It wasn’t the sure soul of Cooke’s, but rather a little more literal. The bass hits harder and the strings are short and sharp and its a little faster than Cooke’s. Seal’s voice is surprisingly adept at getting soulful. He might never come close to Cooke, but that’d be like aspiring to be Pavarotti.