AUGUST: Miguel – ‘Wildheart’

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Dear Brothers. Happy August. Sorry this is late. I think its my first ever late buy/post so please don’t hold it against me for too long. This month has been pretty painful for me choosing an album. I’ve not had enough head space to look into my own collection and/or new things to have something nailed on for the choice.

Months ago I posted ‘NWA’ by Miguel on the blog. I don’t recall it getting much of a response which is often a sign of how busy we are rather than how much we like or dislike something so I didn’t lose too much sleep about it. I was excited to see an album follow shortly and to see it gather positive reviews from all corners of the music media. I decided then I would choose it as my next album of the month … then I chickened out … then I chickened back in again. Then I decided Mbongwana Star was a better bet but found David had it (how much do you spend on music Brother David? You are a one man music industry!).

So here we are listening to (and hopefully) enjoying Wildheart. So what is it apart from the winner of the worst cover of any of this blogs previous albums of the month? There are numerous interviews with Miguel suggesting his inspiration behind this album. There are numerous interpretations of the album offering different suggestions as to how he got where he did with this one. The cover says ‘Prince’ so does the fact that many of these tracks are guitar driven. He is filed under ‘Alternative R&B’ on many sites. WTF is Alternative R&B anyway? I admit that i did come across him via a spotify Alternative R&B playlist so I can’t complain about the genre too much but it seems to be a tag that was created for Weeknd and then others were labelled accordingly?

For me, what ever the aim of this album was, the end result is pure pop. It has boatloads of Californian swagger. It has head-nodding tracks, sleaze and stadium-pop-rock anthems too. I think I chickened out from choosing it as the 3rd track ‘The Valley’ was a lot to take if you are new to this, not a huge R&B fan and not too keen on the naming of female body parts as the lyrical content to a bridge section of a pop song. The album is not shy of sexuality but I think this comes across as being ‘sex-positive’, if this is even a term? I don’t think this is offensive sexual referencing, overt but not offensive? For you to decided. Anyway, don’t switch off after Track 3 cause all the pop songs come after it.

I do suspect that Guy, you may need find this a tougher listen than David or Nolan but I may be totally wrong.

In its Californian-ness it feels like a summer album. In its love of a chorus it comes across as feel-good. I hope you enjoy it too.