Typically when one listens to an album, they can't enjoy the entire collection of songs all from the same artist. I'm definitely one of those people. But Kaleidoscope Dream I could listen to all day and over and over again. Miguel is not your typical R&B crooner, he's an artist. Pure emotion poured into almost every track, bringing to life even the simplest lyrics. Throughout every song I feel his meaningful lyrics and I can relate. He's unafraid to face his feelings and his emotions and his lyrical honesty speaks to me as a human. His words and the hurt in his resonant voice trigger my sympathy. And through it all, they have some catchy melodies! I'm singing as I write this, "where's the fun in forever, oh, swimming in a sea of time".
There are many artists with a great sounding emotional voice but without the vocal ability to back it up. Well, Miguel is equipped with bucketloads of back-up. The enormous vocal range shines through the album. And Miguel knows his limits and never sings beyond it, sustaining a clear, clean and controlled yet powerful voice. But that doesn't mean he doesn't let it rip when he's feeling it. Vocal crescendos. Starting quietly with soothing soul and building into an explosion of raw and tangible emotions. Or he'll wake you bursting straight into power then cooling off, keeping me hanging onto every last word and anticipating about what's to come. His boyish cockiness and arrogance in his sexuality express his genuine nature and relatability.
The album incorporates many genre-fusions including soul and rock, pop and funk, and hip hop and R&B, highlighting his creativity and artistry. The variety succeeds in maintaining my interest. The songs take you on a journey - not just the vocals but the music. Each song takes surprising twists and turns like an interesting novel - it keeps me on my toes and keeps my interest alive. Some of the songs adopt an old-style vibe with white noise underneath the music and Prince-esque vocals; while some songs take a futuristic R&B-style. I love the eerie vibe some of the songs have as a result of their sparse production and haunting reverbed vocals. I'd like to commend all the producers involved for providing, nay, gifting us with deep rich basslines, guitar melodies, punchy drums, syncopated rhythms, sparkling synths and the delicious blend of all these goodies.
Unfortunately, despite the variety of genres, there isn't much variety between each song. I do feel there might be something for everyone, provided you're not deep into hardcore bubblegum Pop. There are a few upbeat numbers to get you on your feet but there aren't any really, really upbeat songs to get you on the floor. Finally, I wouldn't necessarily say this album is for everyone. If you're solely into acts like Justin Bieber and One Direction then you might not love this - who knows, though. I believe people should listen to this with an open mind and understand the music because you may grow to love it if you're not used to it at first. I don't personally listen to so much music of this kind but I love this entire album.
For all you Pop-lovers, Kaleidoscope Dream features modern rapper Wiz Khalifa! It also features controversial rapper Kendrick Lamar and worldwide star Alicia Keys as backing vocals for the track she co-wrote with Miguel. It includes production from producer Salaam Remi, who has worked with the late Amy Winehouse, X Factor winner James Arthur, Nas and Nelly Furtado to name a few. There were quite a number of themes explored in the album but mainly love, sex and romance (but which album isn't about love, sex and romance?).
I would recommend this album and to listen to it with an open mind. With all the teen Pop shoved down our throats on the daily, as it were, real music, such as this, might take some getting used to.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Don't Look Back
3 Use Me
4 Do You...
5 Kaleidoscope Dream
6 The Thrill
7 How Many Drinks?
8 Where's The Fun In Forever
9 Arch & Point - Fisticuffs
10 Pussy Is Mine
11 Candles In The Sun
12 Gravity - Fisticuffs