Constantly teasing his fans with a trail of mix tapes, EPs and visuals, Miguel has certainly delivered on an impeccable sophomore album, “Kaleidoscope Dream”, following his debut album, “All I Want Is You” in 2010. With a perfect release date of October 2 complementing the weather change, you could easily cuddle up with your lover or just unwind from a day of work and let the multi-talented artist in the truest form sooth you.
Why the title? According to Complex.com, Miguel says, “I believe dreams represent the purest form of fantasy we unleash through our subconscious. They represent the truest freedom we can experience. Totally un-repressed and totally creative.” Miguel intimately unleashes himself. This album is much more private yet, in-your-face, escorting you to his dreams and passionately showing you a great time.
“Kaleidoscope Dream” opens with “Adorn,” his first hit single off the album. A very wise decision seeing as how this track simply vibrates through you and enters your bloodstream, making you more susceptible to the music to trail. Dubbed a classic by old and new fans alike, we will almost certainly dance to this at our children’s weddings. Yes, it is that serious. “Adorn” has the toughest of guys grabbing their significant other to let them know that “love ain’t never looked so good on ya!”
Following, the song “Don’t Look Back,” samples The Zombies’ ”Time of the Season“. The album’s title track (“Kaleidoscope Dream”) is reminiscent of “Strawberry Letter 23″ by the Brothers Johnson and contains a sample of Labi Siffre’s, “I Got The“. And in addition to his Prince-ish vocals and sex appeal, it is apparent that Miguel has broken new ground for this generation by clearly reaching back and being influenced by our parents’.
The ladies man, who tries his hardest to keep a low profile, ironically credits his style to just, “being weird.” Mentored by Usher, he channels the likes of Marvin Gaye, Prince and even John Lennon in his music. Your mother would probably enjoy this album too, if she doesn’t mind the sexual innuendos, but it is done so sophisticatedly, she might not mind. Take for instance the previously released, “Arch and Point”: “When it feels so good then it just comes natural. Baby arch your back and point your toes,” he says over the prevailing guitar riffs.
The dreamy and light, “Do You”, repeatedly asks his lover a few “necessary” questions (like whether or not she likes hugs and/or drugs) and concludes that they have so much in common. Enough for him to: “Do her like drugs, tonight.” It is comical, cute and so fun to dance to. On another note, “Where’s The Fun In Forever”, co-written by Alicia Keys, is what I‘d like to think is a classier way to rephrase the (played out and misleading) Y.O.L.O phenomenon. Prompted with the fact that tomorrow isn’t promised he asks, “Would you love so hard? Would you strive to be better?”
I think it is safe to he has made his mark in this ever-changing, ever-unoriginal industry. It is hard to say what the future of R&B will sound like but, in a perfect world, it would be this–an artist and album that wont necessarily fit a formula. I have personally been a fan of Miguel’s since MySpace was the only way to hear his music and that makes this review all the more precious. Very seldom does an artist stay true, much less progress. As impressed as I am, I love that he will only get better. He has remained humble, which makes for a harder-working musician. With the likes of Frank Ocean, Ryan Leslie and Janelle Monae constantly pushing the envelope and rebelling against the system of the genre, I dare you to try and box him. Whether you’re into R&B, Rock, Pop, or maybe more old school, there’s something here for you to groove to.
If this is a new artist for you, please give him a chance. I would have to rate Kaleidoscope Dream: 4.5 out of 5. Miss out if you want, but he will be around for a while.