With the release of his third LP, “Wildheart” California singer Miguel is making appearances across the nation before he embarks on a Summer tour. Yesterday (6/29), Rough Trade NYC hosted an album signing with Miguel to celebrate the record’s release. Debuting the physical version of the album included four extra tracks on the deluxe edition. Tonight (6/30) Miguel plays at (le) Poisson Rouge as part of NPR’s First Listen Live, having played an earlier set on Good Morning America. While the 21+ free performance sold out within a minute, the singer plays an all ages show at Terminal 5 (8/2) with tickets still available.
With some of the biggest hip-hop albums moving more towards more conceptualized, political themes, “Wildheart” keeps a more straightforward R’nB vibe. Where Miguel does bring out his views on social issues on tracks like “what’s normal anyway” it takes into question of his role as a biracial American. However when rappers like his once-collaborator J.Cole and Logic have spoken about their background coming from parents of different racial origins, it typically ties into the ever-escalating political climate and race relations in America. On the record, Miguel strays from making any hard-edged or polarizing statements, but instead sticks to his craft- sultry, pulsating beats underneath his soulful, sensual vocal style. The album begins with the sound of an alarming news report and sirens on “a beautiful exit” laden with a rebellious disregard for mortality, a theme continued on “…goingtohell”. With his bigger tracks like “waves” and the main single from the record “coffee” Miguel pulls out all the stops, painting vivid portraits of sex and spending the morning after in bed with a lover, through an endless sea of metaphors. Keeping his list of collaborators on the album relatively short, Miguel featured Philly rapper Kurupt for a verse on “NWA” and legendary performer Lenny Kravitz with a guitar solo on “face the sun.”