Review of Wildheart by Miguel
Miguel is making waves in the renaissance of RnB that seems to be gathering momentum. The West Coast singer-songwriter who first hit prominence in 2012 with the hit Kaleidoscope Dream is now in his third album in the form of Wildheart.
His new take on RnB, which includes a healthy hybrid with a modern EDM flavour was once frowned upon by the critics in the classic camp. In his early releases perhaps they had some foundation to their concern, however as with many artists, Miguel has matured and fine-tuned the style in to a contemporary feel which is helping bring RnB back.
Miguel doesn’t show away from that past and even confronts it directly on What’s Normal Anyway? “Too out of touch to be in style, too far out for the in crowd” is the telling line which Miguel delivers with style and an adorable arrogance. It does hint that at one point it could have played on his mind but now, he embraces it.
Wildheart does advance a little further than his previous releases and delves deeper in to what would appear to influence Miguel. He obviously has a closeness to Frank Ocean in many ways and there are numerous hints to this during the album. There are some deeper, more funky undertones as will which probably leans towards George Clinton and seems to take leanings from some of Ice Cubes funk recordings. Add to that a slice of Prince and you have an eclectic mixing pot of ingredients that seems to deliver a magical recipe.
As with most RnB albums by male singers there are times when we get a bit close to the bone. This can be best heard on The Valley where Miguel get very steamy and he leaves little to your imagination. Maybe its just part of the modern love story?!
Face the Sun is an interesting track that seems to work. Featuring the gritty edge of the brilliant Lenny Kravitz the Face The Sun, still, somehow, feels a little seductive. The contrast between Kravitz on the warm, creamy tones of Miguel seem to complement and the result is really exciting and you want to play the track on repeat.
There are many very good tracks on the album. But it is perhaps Coffee that stands out. It feels heartfelt, it feels genuine but it also delivers with a bit of an edge. A true modern story of love and desire which makes you want to find out more, particularly as you aren’t sure if Miguel really has a happy ending.
So whilst Wildheart may not be thought provoking. Whilst Wildheart may not test too many music boundaries , it is pushing a lacklustre RnB genre in to the ears of todays music listening public. I would actually place it near the top of my albums of he year. Contender for album of the year? Lets wait and see.