Miguel’s long awaited fourth album War & Leisure is finally out. He has always been in a lane of his own with his R&B – Psychedelic sound. By refusing to be placed inside of a box, he has allowed himself to explore different sounds and grow in his songwriting. Drawing inspiration from pioneers like Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone and Prince, his music has a type of freedom that other artist strive to achieve.
War & Leisure is a sexy yet politically charged album. The bass and electric guitars are really shinning here, causing you to become entranced in the music (The perfect VIBE). He takes you on a musical journey. This is not just an R&B album, it’s not just a Hip Hop, Pop or Rock album. It’s an album that effortlessly crosses and bridges genres. Each song is able to carry it’s own weight.
I appreciate the love songs on this album. PEOPLE DON’T MAKE LOVE SONGS ANYMORE. Songs like Criminal find Miguel in search of love. Banana Clip (My favorite song on the album) explores America’s fear of a World War. Miguel channels this fear as he sings about protecting his love.
M-16 on my lap/Missiles in the sky/No matter where I go on the map/You got my protection/Banana clip on my love for you/Let it ring like braapp
When I first heard Anointed, I feared that the Holy Rollers were going to come down on Miguel for the song can be deemed sacrilegious. Artist of the past have always compared sex to spiritual experiences and this song is no different. He speaks of the power that one develops during the act.
“You, make me feel like a god. Make me feel like I’ve been anointed. Come to me, I’m your rod. Death and resurrection”
Hey they say that sex is a display of worship “SLAY”.
While Miguel shows his confidence in love and sex, he makes it known that he is aware of the social and political climate that America is in right now. City of Angles is a hypothetical record that explores the possibilities of Los Angles (City of Angles) being bombed and destroyed. While the song is hypothetical, it is not far fetched.
NOW examines the world as it it today. Immigration laws, police brutality and President Trump. This is how the world is turning “now”. However, Miguel offers inspiration and hope in the midst of such tragedies.
I did notice that the majority, if not all of the songs on this album are radio ready. Meaning that they all could be singles. Miguel usually gives you deep cuts or records that do not follow the format of popular music. War & Leisure gives you classic Miguel with a strategic plan of radio play. I personally do not find anything wrong with that but I know that hardcore fans may not like this change.
Even though there are a couple songs that I skip like Harem and Caramelo Duro (It is mostly sung in Spanish and I don’t know what he is saying). Or Pineapple Skies which is a hit or miss with me, the album is is indeed a BOP. I have really been enjoying it since it’s release.