Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

Stage Buzz: Miguel @ The Vic Theatre

| August 10, 2015


Despite the fact that he was bounding around with stoner rap kingpin Wiz Khalifa, Miguel managed to project an air of innocence during the 2013 Grammys broadcast. His single, “Adorn,” was about to win “Best R&B Song,” and his inability to stand still was infectious.

Of course, it wasn’t really Miguel but one of his faces. Like others in this currently fertile field of male R&B singers (including Trey Songz, Jeremih, Rico Love, Omarian, even Chris Brown), his versatility can be disorienting. His performance of “Adorn” on “Late Night With David Letterman” in late 2012 showed more of his hand; its guitar-heavy arrangement may have been steered toward a white audience, but it also nodded to Miguel’s conceptual, and unmistakable debts to Prince.

Wildheart (RCA) exposes the breadth of that debt, as well as a little skin below the belt-line. Based largely on Miguel’s Art Dealer Chic EPs, the album, released this past June, is anything but lead single (and “Adorn” companion) “Coffee.” It’s mostly a paisley-tinged mix of shag carpet, leopard-print boxers, flickering candlelight, silk scarves, and a conveniently placed bottle of KY. Stratospheric falsetto, shimmering ambiance: the drill is thrown slightly off balance by Miguel’s tangible vulnerability. “What’s Normal Anyway” lays out his insecurity and lays bare his needs to both please and overwhelm his lack of inner confidence with sexual pleasure.

Dorothy opens.

Appearing Friday, August 14
Vic Theater, Chicago

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Featured, Stage Buzz, Weekly

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