Undoubtedly R&B’s most exciting rockstar, Miguel expands the horizon while broadening the standards of what the genre should sound like. Departing from the modernized soundscape, on Wildheart Miguel takes listeners on a journey through psychedelia, pleasure, and self love. Polarizing for casual listeners while alienating core fans, the follow up to Kaleidoscope Dream, was ambitious, and a risk that paid off. Explorative and experimental, Wildheart remains sultry as its predecessor, yet bold enough to redefine expectations.
A testimony to an no holds barred sexual and racial induced territory, ‘Wildheart’ is unhinged and Miguel wants you to know that. Immediately setting the tone for what’s to come, the first lyrics of the album is irony at its finest; “don’t ever sell yourself short, accept the new, don’t mangle on the past”. A beautiful exit to expectations, album opener is driven by electronic guitar and echoing vocals, which builds a platform for the rest of the album that allows Miguel to glide effortlessly throughout - allowing for a much more breezy listen despite how strange it could get.
Struggling with identity while normalizing oddities, "What’s Normal Anyways" showcases Miguel’s history to the flamboyance of his genre-bending capabilities. Erotically charged, songs like "Coffee", "The Valley" and "Flesh" are explicit R-rated raunchy moments that are straight to the point.
Dazzling beyond overly-sexualized themes, the finest moments of ‘Wildheart’ are crafted upon soaring soul riffs, psychedelic funks, and vivid metaphors. Career highlights "Waves" and "Deal" are a wave of euphoria, an instant calling to the dance floor. Challenging masculinity, Miguel plays the role of his influences for the album (Prince, Freddie Mercury, Lenny Kravitz), reflecting the endless possibilities of a rockstar, and just how unpredictable they are.
Rooted upon inner-city soul, Miguel explores his roots for authenticity to insist on his non-conforming identity. As a declaration to artistic freedom, it’s a testament of hopes and dreams to repaint tarnished beauty in a traditional genre. Miguel continues to push the envelope