Don't put Miguel in your R&B box, his musical creativity stretches much further than the current confines of the genre. These days, the formula is quite simple, take an existing R&B track, add a hip-hop sample underneath and a rapper at the bridge and you have a single prime for radio. Miguel however did it different and judging from the success of his current #1 single "Adorn," for fans it was a welcomed change.
"I'll be honest with you, it's such a pleasant surprise that the song connected with a broader audience," Miguel said of "Adorn" which current sits atop Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. "I love the song personally, but I didn't know people were going to take to it so much."
The sultry tune, which Miguel wrote and produced himself, sets the tone for his sophomore album Kaleidoscope Dream, but there is no other song like it on the 11-track long player. Instead, Kaleidoscope, out Tuesday (October 2), takes sonic chances on each selection.
If "Adorn," with its seductive melody and calming chords, inspires the most intense of love-making sessions, then the fleeting "Don't Look Back" represents the morning after when the reality of the previous night's efforts creep in.
The Oak and Pop Wansel -produced "Use Me" blends rhythm and blues with subtle-yet-powerful rock elements. On it, Miguel reluctantly relinquishes control to his lady while expressing quite a bit of nervousness. "Do You ..." begins with an acoustic drive, but by the time the second verse turns, the song picks up with an island band.
Miguel has strong ties with hip-hop since collaborating with J. Cole on "All I Want Is You" and Wale on the MMG MC's "Lotus Flower Bomb," but he remains rapper-free on Kaleidoscope, though he does elect to spit his own bars on the inquisitive "How Many Drinks?"
"A lot of people forget that R&B put hip-hop on, R&B put rock on. I think in some way, shape or form, we lost touch with the fact that R&B is a genre, not a stereotype," Miguel explained when he walked the red carpet for the 2012 BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta on Saturday. "There's no look, shape, color. There's no creed of what R&B is."
But the genre does have a new face.
What's your favorite track on Miguel's Kaleidoscope Dream? Let us know in the comments!