War & Leisure is the 4th studio album from Miguel. It contains political undertones, something perhaps foreign to his lust, love, & intoxication-driven discography. However, the kaleidoscopic LA singer-songwriter can't escape the ethos of the now, and he responds to the issues, e.g., the Mexico-US border controversy on "Now," or looming concerns about nuclear fallout and/or world destruction on "Told You So" (peep the video!). The real beauty of War & Leisure, though, lies in the way Miguel weaves in the woke talk into his usual, velvety af MO, as in: "Come Through and Chill." Produced by Salaam Remi, the booty-knocking/weed-smoking vibe—"'Cause I got the plug, I made the call for green / I'm talkin' late-night for you"—is balanced out by J.Cole's "real shit" bars, on which he references everything from Colin Kaepernick and Trump to police killings. "Banana Clip" is another example, as Miguel utilizes various war imageries & metaphors to let a girl know how he feels ("Korean missiles in the sky / No matter where i go on the map / You got my protection"). With all that said, don't sleep on the album's ...Leisure portion. "Sky Walker" featuring Travis Scott, which Miguel says "just came out of a moment of fun," is bouncy and fun, and "Caramelo Duro," which is predominantly sung in Spanish, translates to hard candy and contains plenty of obvious references to sex, such as: "Put that pink starburst on my brain / Running through your candy lane." In conclusion, mixing politics & pleasure? Get you a man that can do both, his name is Miguel.
- vinyl pressing of Miguel's 4th full-length from 2017
- double vinyl pressing
- music label: RCA 2018
reviewed by pocari papi 09/2018