In interviews to promote his first album, Miguel Jontel Pimentel positioned himself as an ambassador from R&B's future, a place where classic rock, funk, soul and electronic sounds join forces to rid the radio of Auto-Tuned dance-pop. But despite standout singles, All I Want Is You often slipped lazily into R&B convention.
Miguel's second album delivers on the L.A.-based musician's early promise, taking the best ideas from the debut - slow, lilting grooves, layered electric guitars, darkly squelching bass lines, meandering falsetto - into a more expansive, emotionally varied and personal sound.
Though only three to four minutes long, each song is an artfully constructed mini-epic with electric guitar front and centre. "Do you like drugs?" Miguel sighs dreamily on the intro to Do You... before a sputtering beat and airy, 90s-era Radiohead guitar solo kick in. Salaam Remi provides a satisfyingly sinister beat for the cascading chorus on the title track, and Arch & Point's grumbling riffs take Miguel's delicate falsetto to stadium-sized heights. One of the year's best R&B albums.
Top track: Do You...