Rapper Mac Miller recruits Miguel for his foot-stomping anthem, “Weekend” off his album GO:OD AM. Miller talks it out on each verse, while Miguel croons behind the beat. The chorus chants, “But I be good by the weekend, I be good by the weekend, everything good by the weekend.” Ain’t that the truth? Miller swears off his ex throughout the song; poppin’ pills, drinking bottles, then the weekend comes and he feels better. Miguel adds a sultry R&B layer, as he usually does with every piece of music he slides onto. An unlikely pair sure make this song worth your time.
Brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence make up the electronic/dance duo Disclosure. Their sophomore album, Caracal, was released this past Friday. Featuring collaborations with some of the best voices in music today like, Lion Babe, Lorde, Miguel, The Weeknd, and the English King himself, Sam Smith. The album is an eclectic art concept from start to finish.
I have spent days listening to every single song off the album and I have fallen in love with every single one. These guys go beyond the dance genre into some serious technical skill. Each song is almost reminiscent of a 70’s groovy sound illuminated by pulsating drum and bass beats. Every chorus is magnified by poetic lyrics and impeccable vocals.
I listened to “Superego” having never heard of the singer Nao before and instantly became obsessed with it. Her voice is smooth, angelic, and harsh all at once, making the song as hypnotizing as it is. “This ain’t the me show, keep it on the low
Where’s your superego? You let your head grow, I tried to let you know,” guide this song to be powerful and sassy.
Singles like, “Omen”, “Holding On”, and “Willing & Able” all capture the soul elements that sometimes get lost in dance and electronic music. When I heard each one of these singles, I became addicted, because no one else is doing this type of music. Disclosure has this ability to evoke so much emotion in each song; something very uncommon in this genre. Vocals are always executed brilliantly and echo the production flawlessly.
Big concepts are lining this album from top to bottom. “Moving Mountains” is an easy-going chill electronic tune until you reach the 3:50 mark where the song takes a subtle turn into hip-hop while still keeping the captivating angel-like vocals. It’s so incredible you can’t help but listen to it over and over. While, “Good Intentions” led by R&B crooner Miguel (you guys know how much I adore this man…), picks up right where Miguel left off on his album Wildheart. “Intentions” mimics everything you would hear in a standard Miguel song; dope electronics, an incredible consistent beat, and sultry vocals to no end. Lyrics like, “But I’m not perfect the way you’re perfect, and though it hurts, yeah, it hurts to say goodbye, I know I let you down…” make this song the perfect “I’m sorry”. Or, you could just make a skittles pizza like Mia Thermopolis.
I couldn’t be more amazed by Caracal. It is stuffed with one of a kind musical content that more people need to appreciate.
Miguel’s new album Wildheart is nothing short of wild sexual references and catchy 70’s esque vibes. “Waves” is no different. “Don’t stop, I wanna ride that wave, all night…” Miguel croons through sultry muffled vocals. A clap happy drum beat makes you wanna two step and throw on some bell bottoms or skate with your boo at a roller rink. Miguel’s layered vocals add a psychedelic element that go hand in hand with the explicit lyrics. Subtlety has never been Miguel’s strong suit, he makes it very clear what he wants; “Yeah, get wild baby, so hot, God damn, I need a towel baby, I could wipe you down right now baby, I could ride that wave right now baby.” AKA – not the song you want to play in the car with your mom on your way to go grocery shopping…
Miguel’s Wildheart is just that; unapologetic, spontaneous, and sensual. His third studio album will be released Monday (6/29) and it has easily perched Miguel on top of the R&B ladder. Miguel’s ear for electronics, vibe-y choruses, and overly sexualized lyrics keep him relevant and always on point. R&B is revitalized through the artistic eyes of Miguel, the visionary. Wildheart is a concept album focusing on West Coast influences as you hear sprinkled on every flawless track.
Several 70’s vibes are filtered throughout this album on several songs; the sultry/dance tune “deal”, the clap-happy “wave”, and the easy-going “nwa”. There’s no denying, electric guitar and a heavy drum beat guide almost every song into an endless good vibe. Miguel’s voice echoes every guitar strum as smooth as melted butter in cookie batter.
You say Miguel, I say…sexual. The amount of sexual innuendos are pretty much spilling through every song. Wildheart is definitely not an album to play in the van when you pick the kids up from school. “valley” is definitely one of the most explicit songs off the album; “I wanna f*** like we’re filming in the valley” just gives you an idea of what Miguel’s talking about here… A clear homage to the saucy side of California with racy lyrics to fit the cliché bill. Harmonies overlap near the end as Miguel leaves you in a trance-like state of mind. “Flesh” is another sexually charged anthem. Miguel’s falsetto takes shotgun as you ride through heavily sedated verses and low rumbling guitar. “I’m a slave to your flesh, woman put me right where I belong,” he sweetly sings in the 4 and a half minute tune.
The lyrics may be super racy but songs like “what’s normal anyway”, “leaves”, and “face the sun” carry more weight lyrically. “what’s normal anyway” challenges the racial boundaries that we see and hear about everyday. “I look around and I feel alone, I never feel like I belong.” A more emotional side of Miguel. A bit of 80’s synth pops into the song near the end adding more of a melancholy feel. “What’s normal anyway” quickly turns into a proclamation of self love; “don’t let them change you, just be who you are.” Miguel proves he can still write a powerful love song with the gorgeous “face the sun” featuring Lenny Kravitz on the electric guitar. “leaves” serves as another ode to California just like he promised; “sweet California, I should’ve known better, cause the leaves don’t change.” Impeccable vocals and simple lyrics flood this song with strong symbolic meaning. One of Miguel’s finest off the album.
For me, Wildheart is Miguel in his prime. He blows through everyone’s idea of R&B and creates a new age style that you can’t resist. A little bit of rock, funk, R&B, and pop thrown into a blender and you have the masterpiece that is Wildheart.
Here’s his latest music video for single, “Coffee”:
Ever since the announcement that Lorde will be compiling The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack, I knew it would be magic. Lorde’s keen ear for dark themes, visual appeal, and genius lyrics will lead Hunger Games fans into a full blown frenzy.
“I’m a princess cut from marble, smoother than a storm,” are the first words from her single titled “Yellow Flicker Beat.” The song serves as a powerful homage to the start of a revolution (as we see in The Hunger Games.) Mixing dramatic synths and Lorde’s classic unique vocals, this song is pure fire. The music video shows Lorde in several places; a retro motel room, a dark foggy street, sitting by a dimly lit pool, and surrounded by a glamorous crowd in a black room. Not to mention the video gives fans a full serving of Lorde’s weird yet always captivating dancing as she bops her loose curls to every beat.
Lorde recently told Rolling Stone that Kanye West reworked this single with her. Kanye freaking West. The song is called “Flicker” on the album and I’m sure it’s going to be massive.
Another single off this soundtrack is “This Is Not A Game,” by The Chemical Brothers featuring vocals by Miguel and three quick words from Lorde: “There It Is.” This song is unlike anything I’ve ever heard. Miguel’s sexy raspy voice glides effortlessly over the hip-hop beats, electronic synths, and spaceship beeps. The theme of revolution comes appears again as Miguel sings “you talk about a revolution,” then Lorde says “there it is.” This song is so dope, I am actually really angry that more people don’t know about it yet. The contrast between Miguel’s dreamy voice and the hard electronics in this song make it so incredibly unique.
Lorde is the absolute best person to give this project to. Her creativity with music is something young fans of The Hunger Games and of Lorde herself, will appreciate. The soundtrack is expected to be released Nov. 17. You can bet I’ll be listening.