Album Review: ‘Wildheart’

RCA Records

RCA Records


After releasing his debut album, “All I Want Is You,” back in 2010, followed by his sophomore record “Kaleidoscope Dream” in 2012, Miguel is back with his third solo album, “Wildheart,” which skillfully combines the genres of funk, rock and classic R&B.

An intimate album with a grown and sexy sound, it’s clear from track one that the intended audience is a mature one. “This album is Los Angeles. It’s attitude. It’s aggression. It’s sex. It’s psychedelia. It’s lust. It’s loneliness,” Miguel said in an interview with VH1.

From tracks like “Coffee,” “leaves” and the oh-so addictive “FLESH,” listeners can expect that signature Miguel sound of smooth modish R&B vocals with just a hint of rock-esque grit. “DEAL,” and “The Valley,” however, are more experimental in genre. While “the valley,” is more electro-funk, “DEAL” has a real groovy, retro feel and somehow manages to seemingly combine the influences of Prince and The Clash all in one.

Meanwhile “a beautiful exit,” “…goingtohell” and “Hollywood Dreams” take on a darker tone and are lyrically self-reflective. “Lost angel with an urgent subtle jaded eyes, and this empty fixation, sweet Hollywood sign, you’re my salvation,” Miguel croons in the latter tune.

“Face the sun,” is probably the most romantic track on the album, as it was written for the singer’s longtime girlfriend of 10 years. However, this tune’s most standout feature is Lenny Kravitz’s impressive guitar chords, which really intensify the song.

The deluxe version of “Wildheart” includes a bonus of four extra songs. With “gfg” Miguel brings us another flirtatious track that sounds sort of gritty but somehow maintains its sensuality.

With “destinado a morir,” Miguel proves that he knows how to seduce in other languages as he digs into his Mexican roots singing, “Puedes probar mi droga de amor hasta el final siguiendo el sol. Mi oración es de placer,” which roughly translates to “You can try my drug of love until the end following the sun. My prayer is for pleasure.”

Second to last is the track “Simple Things,” which you may have heard on HBO’s hit series, “Girls.” And lastly we have “damned,” a tune where a lovesick Miguel once again croons over his fatal attraction to an unnamed woman.

“Wildheart’s” most distinct feature is that it’s clearly a romantic album in the sense that it’s emotionally provocative. From sex to youth to identity, “Wildheart” digs into it all. And the beauty of this album’s cross-mixing of R&B and rock is that those are both two genres that do well in expressing passion. And that’s exactly what “Wildheart” is. It’s passion. It’s raw and angry and sad all at once; yet somehow it works, seamlessly coming together to form one gem of a record.

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