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After a three-year hiatus, Miguel is back and ready to reshape how we understand 21st-century R&B.
Wildheart is a truly beautiful album. The track list is diverse, and contains everything from songs of seduction right through to intensely romantic numbers, as well as songs that relate to almost unexpected elements of the human experience (something that is especially commendable coming from a still emerging artist). Crushed dreams, loneliness, heartbreak—you name it, he’s probably written about it. This diversity means that Wildheart is not full of hit songs that everyone will love, but you get the sense that this won’t worry Miguel at all. As he sings in “a beautiful exit”, “Don’t ever sell yourself short, sell your sad things, accept the new, don’t mingle on the past, believe in yourself, trust your intuition, you are here for a reason.”
It’s a refreshing listen, and is mastered to engage well through headphones. If you have listened to Miguel before, you will know that his music doesn’t fit into a typical genre, but Wildheart combines soulful R&B with alternative elements, and a funky electronic influence that carries throughout. It really is a game-changer for R&B—a genre that has been struggling to move past its dated heroes of the early 2000s.
“Coffee” is a great track that you should listen to right now if you haven’t already. It is somehow unique and distinctive, with juddered vocals and building and crashing tempos, but still remains classically soulful. “face the sun” with Lenny Kravitz is such a good love song, with beautiful lyrics and vocals that pull on your heartstrings and keep you engaged. In terms of songs about pretty intense love, “damned”, “…goingtohell” and “waves” are all great and all relatively different. “what’s normal anyway” is a moving song about identifying yourself and being yourself. With Miguel’s refined vocal, great lyrics, and a restrained track, the song is able to speak for itself. “Hollywood Dreams” and “destinado a morir” are similar in this way and great as a result.
Before listening to this album, I was expecting something pretty honest after watching a few interviews with Miguel. But what I wasn’t expecting was something so vulnerable, diverse, and completely unique. If I haven’t convinced you, I would definitely recommend finding Miguel’s Spotify sessions—it gives both great music and a little insight into the workings of Miguel.