I’ve been listening to Miguel’s third studio album “WILDHEART” since it came out, trying to really get the full vibe of the album and I must say it is quite a creative, emotional piece of work. Recently I had the pleasure of listening to Miguel talk about his new project and he was a full advocate of the idea that being wild hearted means you are basically unconcerned with the statutes of normality. It is more important to be true to yourself and be fearless in that truth, rather than to submit to the pressure to conform and be “likable” or “accepted” (summed up greatly by track “What’s Normal Anyway?”)
When I heard that it was like my interest in the album almost shot through the roof even more. There is lot to be said about the artist who decides to purely create and not be so concerned with what sells. Now of course this luxury usually comes with notoriety, but I’m still a fan of that principal no matter when an artist decides to do it.
So the second go round of listening to the album I decided to look through the lens of a artist appreciating the art of another. Not as the music listener, greedy for the catchy song.
To me, “WILDHEART” is the perfect marriage of Rock and R&B. I’ve always admired Miguel as an R&B artist because what he does vocally, lyrically, and even how he produces really solidifies the premise of the genre (that is if you care what a genre is anymore). Listening to his album immediately made me think of Rock concerts from the 80s where the band was just vamping, and it was all about pretty women, sex, fast living, and no regrets.
Every song pretty much hits that theme. It is very much dangerous as it is loving. He constantly is mentioning a woman, whether that is sparked by his own relationship with Nazanin Mandi I’m not sure, but it is clear that is a major focal point for this album. At times it’s also blunt and morbid, touching on the idea of dying young or love being like a death sentence. I wouldn’t expect to here more “Coffee” like songs, but rather be open for a more inventive sound…. and a more sexual sound…. there’s just some songs that are just down right sex… like “Valley.”
Overall I thought “WILDHEART” was explorative and thoughtful. My favorites from the album are “Coffee”, “face the sun”, “NWA”, “waves”, among others. I really liked it, I think there’s a special place in everyone’s life when this album makes perfect sense, but it’s up to you to listen and find that moment for yourself.