Being that he’s one of the few true visionaries left in today’s over saturated music industry, it’s fair to say [cliche's aside] that Miguel is a breath of fresh air as far as R&B mainstays are concerned. Not one to follow trends, he sets his own rules. While chart-chasing R&B seems to be heading more towards dance, Miguel’s numerous vocal variations, diverse songwriting and experimental production pieces channel mid-80’s Prince with a touch of class that even the late Marvin Gaye would have been proud of.
Let’s just say he’s a leader amongst men, and it shows with his latest offering – Kaleidoscope Dream.
Never getting old, the album opens with fan favourite “Adorn.” While originally released via the EP Art Dealer Chic Vol.1 back in February, seven months have passed and people are still talking about it as if it’s the freshest thing on the scene. Slow, seductive and with a sense of sexual empowerment, it’s definitely a bedroom jam of epic proportions. Everything from the lightly spread drip drop instrumental effect to Miguel’s undeniably passionate vocal reach is tailor-made for flawless results.
Originally written for Alicia Keys, “Where’s The Fun In Forever” is Miguel thinking outside of the box. While simplistic the line, “Tomorrow’s just another day/ Tomorrow isn’t promised,” opens up a whole new train of thought for listeners. The core subject of the record is to celebrate each day because as another 24hrs passes you’re one step closer to the end. It’s basically YOLO for the more mature ear. And while she chose not to use it herself, Alicia Keys does still minimally feature.
Catering more towards the seasoned listener, Miguel’s forward thinking has him ahead of his time. This is never more apparent than when “Do You…” makes an appearance, produced by Jerry Wonda. Digging deep into an atmospheric dimension – think Andre 3000’s “Prototype” – the delicate execution, courtesy of some soothing guitar strums and a quirky vocal arrangement, offers a 360 degree R&B shift back to how records used to be made. They always say that things come full circle and become relevant again, and this particular song has Miguel prepped and ready to be ahead of the pack.
One of the most ingenious and incredibly ballsy joints featured on Kaleidoscope Dream is “Pussy Is Mine.” A mock up in-studio performance with tapes still recording, as well as a touch of narration, gives the impression that reality comes as standard. Playing an electric guitar to himself while continually singing, “Tell me that that pussy is mine,” may not sound as intriguing on paper, however the foul-mouthed love ballad is quite possibly the album’s crowning glory. Acoustically quaint yet lyrically raw, this top billing oxymoron is a beautiful thing to witness.
With Kaleidoscope Dream, Miguel has stepped his game up tremendously. As a musician and songwriter he’s arrived; with a young album for those with an old head on their shoulders. Instrumentally faultless, the album is an actual Rhythm & Blues album as opposed to one full of Rhythm & Bullshit; Miguel has definitely proven with this release that he’s a musical heavyweight on all levels. Those wanting to venture into something that’s going to satisfy them for longer than a week, need this album in their lives.