12 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With fizzled record deals and forced image makeovers in his past, a frustrated Miguel Jontel Pimentel took control of his career and creativity on Kaleidoscope Dream. As a result, his second album not only sounded utterly singular—a swirling, moody mix of hip-hop, rock, and psychedelic soul—but it also placed the Southern Californian singer in a vanguard of new artists redefining the idea of the male R&B star (see also Frank Ocean, the Weeknd). Though just as sex-obsessed as the smooth lovermen who came before him, Miguel here projects a far more fractured and colorful view of romance tinted by deep self-reflection, hallucinogenic augmentation, and spiritual yearning. All of which tracks for a guy who grew up idolizing artsy types like Prince, Bowie, and Hendrix, but whose voice happens to sound like crushed velvet.

To that last point, there’s “Adorn,” a tribute to wholehearted love that evokes Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” and shows just how sweet a Miguel album of simple, throwback R&B would be. But Kaleidoscope Dream is not that album—and it’s better for it. The next song, “Don’t Look Back,” lays shuffling ’60s pop over throbbing electro-house as Miguel warns a partner to run before the moon turns him into a womanizing beast. And then comes “Use Me,” where, over a plush blanket of grinding guitar, he cops to being nervous in bed. Whether he’s likening coitus to ballet (“Arch & Point”) or vamping with Alicia Keys over a tumbling drum loop (“Where’s the Fun in Forever”), Miguel proves himself a thrillingly unpredictable host. It’s no wonder this breakthrough LP led to sonic trysts with artists as wide-ranging as Kendrick Lamar, the Chemical Brothers, and Beyoncé.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With fizzled record deals and forced image makeovers in his past, a frustrated Miguel Jontel Pimentel took control of his career and creativity on Kaleidoscope Dream. As a result, his second album not only sounded utterly singular—a swirling, moody mix of hip-hop, rock, and psychedelic soul—but it also placed the Southern Californian singer in a vanguard of new artists redefining the idea of the male R&B star (see also Frank Ocean, the Weeknd). Though just as sex-obsessed as the smooth lovermen who came before him, Miguel here projects a far more fractured and colorful view of romance tinted by deep self-reflection, hallucinogenic augmentation, and spiritual yearning. All of which tracks for a guy who grew up idolizing artsy types like Prince, Bowie, and Hendrix, but whose voice happens to sound like crushed velvet.

To that last point, there’s “Adorn,” a tribute to wholehearted love that evokes Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” and shows just how sweet a Miguel album of simple, throwback R&B would be. But Kaleidoscope Dream is not that album—and it’s better for it. The next song, “Don’t Look Back,” lays shuffling ’60s pop over throbbing electro-house as Miguel warns a partner to run before the moon turns him into a womanizing beast. And then comes “Use Me,” where, over a plush blanket of grinding guitar, he cops to being nervous in bed. Whether he’s likening coitus to ballet (“Arch & Point”) or vamping with Alicia Keys over a tumbling drum loop (“Where’s the Fun in Forever”), Miguel proves himself a thrillingly unpredictable host. It’s no wonder this breakthrough LP led to sonic trysts with artists as wide-ranging as Kendrick Lamar, the Chemical Brothers, and Beyoncé.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
2.3K Ratings

2.3K Ratings

Channel Se7en ,

Abre los ojos

I just want to be able to put on an album and not have to even touch skip - Kaleidoscope Dream fits this definition perfectly. Not many albums are able to claim that presently. Miguel has 2 (already) that can. Few words can speak volumes - just as good music without the extras can. THIS is how you make and present an album. Record companies only want to push singles? Miguel presents you with an album that is unique as he is. Superb.

Randall GS ,

What CURRENT R&B needs to sound like!

This is ONE of the best r&b albums in a decade, this gives LIFE to the genre it didnt have before & makes it sound modern & fresh, not the SAME boring sounds! Incredible job with this album!

tracetanner ,

Miguel did it again

So good. Everyone needs to buy this album. He's so underrated and is truly talented. Loved every song.

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