There aren’t too many current R&B artists that I could listen to over, and over again, but Miguel continues to bring me out of my 2015 R&B apathy. His music shirks the dumb as sh*t, auto-tuned, synthetic, trying-to-be-trap R&B of today, if that’s what you can even call most of it. Exquisite production, real instruments, vocals untethered by autotune (that we can hear.) Merging rock and soul with the ease of his musical predecessors like Prince, D’Angelo and Lenny Kravitz (who is featured), his latest LP and third studio release, “Wildheart,” is DOPE as sh*t. Jesus.
Miguel manages to be carnal, sexy, conscious, sweet and romantic in the same damn album. Lush, seductive vocals, guitar solos, basically an eargasm.
– Face the Sun: First of all, when I heard this song for the first time, I think I played it 20 times in a row, no lie. He sings about redeeming love, love that isn’t perfect, but incessant. “I ain’t a saint, I think you know… Cause when it’s time to face the sun, I know that you’re the only one.” Whew. Did I mentioned it’s featuring Lenny Kravitz on the guitar, who you hear from the beginning in this beautiful, dream sounding guitar solo, reminiscent of 90’s Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Games.” This song would give me a physical reaction if I heard it in a stadium, at a concert. And then at the damn bridge Kravitz give this stadium sized guitar solo. Gawd. Can’t underscore this songs greatness.
– Leaves: Not going to extemporize on why I love this song, and can relate to the lyrics, but, Miguel personifies California throughout the song, wistfully speaking through his personification to talk about an unexpected breakup. “Heart caught in a rift, cold Pacific waters
Keep on pulling me under, drowning in my sorrows…”
– What’s Normal Anyway: One of Miguel’s more conscious songs, speaking about the stereotypes that society puts on different people groups, and not feeling like he fits in, because each group he’s suppose to belong to, he doesn’t fit into. “Too proper for the black kids, too black for the Mexicans/ Too square to be a hood nigga, what’s normal anyway?” Dope track, and even doper for folks experiencing the same angst.
– Coffee: This song is awesome, simply because it’s so simple and sexy. Miguel paints pictures with his lyrics, story telling topped with lofty, vivid, word play. This song MAKES you want to have coffee in the morning… Coffee. Get it? Mm.
“I wish I could paint our love
These moments and vibrant hues
Wordplay, turns into gun play
And gun play turns into pillow talk
And pillow talk turns into sweet dreams
Sweet dreams turns into coffee in the morning”
“Wildheart” was just released, and is the quintessential summer album. It’s the kind of album you listen to in the fall and winter, and get a deep, nostalgic yearning for the summer. It’s the kind of album that makes you feel like you should be doing something else other than writing a review at 12am on a Tuesday. On that note… I leave you to check it out.