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Album Review: Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream

The second album from Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream, represents a massive leap forward for the artist. His previous effort was considered mediocre with potential at best, and panned at worst. Miguel comes straight back at his critics though, offering up an album that shows a huge growth and a firm impression of personality.

Some R&B albums released into the mainstream end up falling by the wayside, repeating the same tricks and sounds over and over again. Kaleidoscope Dream is no such album. Miguel has managed to produce an album that screams with his own personality, his own brand stamped onto each track that makes his sound as distinctive and unmistakable as some of the larger acts and proves just how far this young singer can go.

The album was preceded by two EPs, one in July entitled Kaleidoscope Dream: The Water Preview, featuring his hit single “Adorn”, as well as “Don’t Look Back” and “Use Me” and Kaleidoscope Dream: The Air Preview, released in September featuring the Salaam Remi produced title track “Kaleidoscope Dream”, “The Thrill” and Jerry Wonda produced “Do You…”. Miguel has added to these encouraging EPs with another six tracks to deliver a full, rich and gorgeous album.

The album is as diverse as you would expect from such a successful effort. Tracks like “Adorn”, “The Thrill” and “Use Me” are being described as ‘baby-making music’. It’s not hard to see why. Miguel manages to combine a sensual and elegant voice with an intensity and passion that can drive listeners to the same heights. The melodies are slow, but deep enough, for some serious excitement to get going and are the perfect soundtrack to late-evening rendezvous.

It’s not all love-making and breathless fervour though, the lyricism and song writing prowess that Miguel demonstrates is exceptional. His track “Don’t Look Back” seems incredibly personal, heartfelt and powerful and will strike a chord with anyone in the grips of infatuation.

The album’s deep R&B roots are clear to see, but Miguel has twisted it and added to it and created a wonderful blending of post-rock and psychedelic elements with the modern-age standard of soulful music to create something that isn’t made for clubs or for pop charts, but made for the love of music and the love of love itself.

R&B lovers will not be disoriented by the change in direction taken here, but it’s a welcome break from the traditional and inspires something new and a sound that Miguel has claimed for his own.

Big things are coming for this rising star, with more tracks set to place high on the charts and more awards and accolades to look forward to, Miguel is the new darling of the R&B world.

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