Miguel review: an irresistible come-on with a woke mentality

Fri, Dec 1, 2017, 05:00


War & Leisure



R&B / Soul

Miguel’s voice is like a cold can of Coke slowly being poured over ice. On War & Leisure, his fourth album, he weaves political references between declarations of lust. This is the closest to pop the Californian R&B artist has come, with the easy-breezy Skywalker brushing off all his haters and Pineapple Skies promising us that everything is going to be alright as he coos over a flirtatious bass line.

He barely pushes his voice above a tomcat yawn on Come Through and Chill and on Caramelo Duro, which loosely translates as “hard candy”, he celebrates his Mexican heritage in his first predominantly Spanish song, proving that Miguel can successfully woo in any tongue. Using love as his protection on the totally tropical Banana Clip, he plays love metaphors against gun metaphors: “A lot of terror on my mind/ No matter where I go on the map/ I think of my protection.” He’s more outright on Now, where he lists Donald Trump’s many failed policies and asks “Is that the look of freedom?”

Somehow, Miguel successfully blends carefree R&B pop bops with a woke mentality … while giving you the glad eye. Magic.