It wouldn’t be too big of a stretch to consider Miguel blazing an independent trail, respectfully bright, against his contemporaries – ala The Weeknd
and Frank Ocean
. The still relatively new artist struck bronze with his 2010 debut All I Want Is You
, muddled in it’s persona, yet bubbling with potential; thanks to strong singles and a flair for that soul
that is desperately missing from the charts this decade – and beyond – the crooner often found himself in limbo needing an identity, but with greater regard, a reason for simply existing. A married man with such mature insight in the rambunctious routines of this new sultry R & B movement delivering material titled Art Dealer Chic
felt so far removed at times that it caused a polarizing reaction. The biggest problem wasn’t necessarily the delivery so much as the packaging. With Kaleidoscope Dream
, Miguel is able to find an itch that hasn’t been scratched since Marvin Gaye
, and it’s with such a comparison that we see how Miguel comfortably operates.
Opener and leading single “Adorn” is indicative of the singers craft for creating a stellar track. Miguel’s commanding vocal presence cascades the song through elegant falsettos amidst its simple yet effective chorus which, combined with the reformed outro, signifies the corrective steps the artist has taken to up the ante within the pop realm – Artists from complete left field (Ma$e") have called up to steal some shine from this track’s polish. Even more impressive is Miguel’s ability to twist a songs’ structure to fit his enigmatic nature; this capability to flow congruently with the production is telling of his vocal IQ – never drowned out by a completely immersive track like “Do You...”, a lush track devoted to its ethereal atmosphere, yet strongly contrasting forceful (rock infused) cuts (“Time of the Season”).
An easy comparison for this modern grown-up love album could easily be Beyonce
and this is fairly accurate. While the two share a similar expressiveness the buck stops there. While Beyonce struggles to find her place in pop, still
, Miguel feels completely at home with his sophomore release. Modesty’s key, but it lurks beneath a quaint addiction for love. Ok, love strewn through tons of sex, but still, love
. It’s this love that leads the singer to his most personal, and at times, most compelling songs to date. Alongside lavish synths and an uncanny ability make matinee movies sound sexy, is a confident singer emerging from an unspectacular debut and capitalizing tenfold. His hand is all over Kaleidoscope
, and that masterful construction gives way to a project that is undoubtedly all his own (Alicia Keys slips in for a minimal vocal backdrop that inherently bolsters the tracks creator on “Where’s the Fun In Forever”). Fully intimate and wholly surreal Kaleidoscope
often feels invasive, and always underplays the simplicity of its nature, but this enhances Miguel’s quality as a soul singer, breaking down the notions of pop and restructuring them with ease and care making you feel like you belong where he is at any moment.