Capsule album reviews of new albums for the week of June 30, 2015
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Repeat: Miguel, "Wildheart"
Compared to his last, nearly-flawless album "Kaleidoscope Dream," "Wildheart" -- for its ambiguously affable title -- is practically subversive. Here, it's not a matter of flaw, exact pitch or satisfactory pop. Instead, the R&B singer explores his bedroom freak fantasies, his own place next to Los Angeles' glittering poolsides, his role in popular culture and celebrity. "Too proper for the black kids / too black for the Mexicans / Too square to be a hood n***a / what's normal anyway?" he asks on "what's normal anyway?" (his capitalization). He's not wooing an audience, he's satisfying his own instincts and questions, running a gamut of genres and electrifying with odd ad libs, big notes and kinetic lyricism. His commitment to personal concept makes this complete album a great success, with particular kudos to "Hollywood Dreams" and "the valley" as bright highlights.