r&b with some Prince thrown in to keep it interesting
even that didn't work
nothing reached a like
Grade - 1.2
released Nov 30th, 2010
from the album - All I Want Is You - grade 1.5
Album Review from planetill
Miguel is the latest R&B hot boy to take the stage in the hopes of snatching the crown abdicated when Usher took the (marital) plunge and Chris Brown took a swing. His debut album All I Want Is You is a work full of contemporary production that often mutes his natural vocal talent, and middling lyricism that plays to mentality rather than sentiment.
The album is full of bounce and dance-driven rhythm typified by “Pay Me” where hand claps, bullhorns, a booming thump and double snare paint Miguel into a sing/talk delivery. The singer is okay with pay to play loving but be careful, he wants to pay with a check. Also on the groove train is “Girls Like You,” with a loud guitar rhythm bookended by smashing drums. Miguel tells the latest hottie that he doesn’t want to think, he just wants to drink over the loneliness in his heart. Girls like her remind him of that loneliness. The dithering break is really the only place where a vocal run could fit.
“Hardway” is almost identical in construction, with drums so hard you will shake your ass or bob your head with no regard to anything he sings. He always learns the hard way about these ladies that put him in a bad place and he’s a broken man (in case you were wondering)’ but go back to the dance floor, it doesn’t matter. “To The Moon” begins with “I got a rocket in my pocket and I’m ready to go” so u know there’s thump coming to save the song. Foot tapping drums, a low level cow bell, keys,and driving synth cover cliche’d lyrics. Miguel’s performance does some lifting to pull the song from crap.
On the opposite of the spectrum you have “Teach Me” with Miguel doing his best early Prince imitation over slow, drowsy guitars and synth that typified that Minneapolis funk of the early 80s. Miguel lacks those guttural lows and the high end shrieky range that made Prince such a compelling vocalist. It’s dope unless you’ve heard the real thing. Luckily the present music space is possessed of short memory.
Also on the Prince train is “Hero” with a slow, husky electric guitar riding cowgirl atop ambient synth and a boom clap boom foundation. The cape is out and flapping as Miguel offers to be your defender and protector as well as your Superman in bed. Word to Souljaboy. He does employ a lively bridge and solid backgrounds that make the song interesting.
The slow, sensual knock of “Vixen” and Miguel’s falsetto is evidence of MJ DNA. The song uses allegory to famous couples as what he and his paramour could be sexually if they put their minds and bodies to the task. The song is actually cute with charming brass touches that accentuate the simmering groove.
There are some interesting tracks on here. While possessed of corny allegory, opening track “Sure Thing” is solid. He sounds genuine as he relays to his lady his faith in the strength of their relationship with a chopped and screwed refrain. Title track “All I Want Is You” is a proven radio rhythm with a solid appearance from rising rapper J.Cole.
“Girl With The Tatoo Interlewd” is a showcase for Miguel to show off his singing talent with his background harmony serving as the only instrument. The slick “Quickie” is a sly, steamy declaration of a broken Miguel’s distaste for love and his desire for the simple wham bam thank you ma’am
Album closer “My Piece” is a weak closing note that doesn’t put a stamp on the album or seal its identity.
“All I Want Is You” is an album that attempts to placate different markets without establishing its own identity or any continuity. At its close we still have no real idea what kind of artist Miguel is. There is talent here that should be allowed to incubate and find its own direction. Right now all we want is Miguel. Will the real one please stand up?
1. Sure Thing
2. All I Want Is You
3. Girl With The Tattoo
4. Pay Me
6. Girls Like You
8. Hard Way
9. Teach Me
12. To The Moon
13. My Piece