MUSIC: SEARCHING FOR (AND FINDING) A HIGHER POWER

The singer Seal has always seemed to draw on his own private power source, so it should come as no surprise that his recent performance on MTV's acoustic showcase, Unplugged, was suffused with energy despite the de rigueur absence of electric guitars (the segment begins airing this week). But what is surprising is just how gracefully Seal took to the format. Tuneful, enigmatically romantic songs such as Kiss from a Rose blossomed under the scrutiny that a lower-volume set brings, and Seal's voice, charismatic and craggy, revealed new depths in the low-key format, especially on his climactic rendition of Don't Cry.

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