Album Review: Miguel – Wildheart

Wildheart by Miguel

#aotd is Wildheart by Miguel. Musically this album has a pretty traditional R&B sound but implements more guitar work than what is commonly found on a modern R&B album. From the get go Miguel wears his retro R&B influences on his wrist but at no point does he simply copy the style of these influences. The most retro-flavoured aspects of this album are the lyrical content and the slow grooving tempo. Lyrically, this album mainly centres on getting jiggy with the one you love but Miguel writes about the topic with a refreshing amount of maturity and manages to capture true intimacy rather than just sleaziness. This is most evident on the first single for the album “Coffee” which succeeds in being an obviously sexual song without ever divulging into uncomfortable amounts of detail and also functions as a pretty sweet and sincere love song. Luckily, not every song on here is a slow love jam, tracks like “waves” and “DEAL” up the tempo significantly and use some great driving percussion to maintain a danceable groove. These songs show off the album’s songwriting variety and they really highlight Miguel’s versatility as a performer. Not only can Miguel croon like one of the greats and display some near James Blake-levels of soul on tracks like “FLESH” and “…goingtohell” but on the aforementioned track “Waves” he can also nail a solid hook with some gorgeous and catchy melodies. Wildheart maintains a slow sensual rhythm throughout each of its tracks which for the most part works really well and sticks within the genre conventions but the slow guitar playing can feel clunky on some songs. Also the track “the valley” sticks out like a sore thumb by abandoning the slower tempo percussion in favour for bassy beats and features some awkward lyrics. Wildheart is a pretty stellar modern R&B album which features some welcome old school tinges as well as a performer who seems to be improving with each album.
Rating: 4.1/5

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