Kaleidoscope Dream in a word… eclectic. Leave it to Miguel to simply do his own thing on his sophomore LP, completely disregarding the lines of R & B to simply create music. Miguel is perfectly fine being in his own unique box, making music unlike anyone else in the game and even marketing himself with the most unheard of but genius marketing campaign the industry has seen.
Miguel released his album in three parts, including 2 free EPs. The first, Kaleidoscope Dream: The Water Preview was released back on July 21st. That included the first single “Adorn.” The song has since become his biggest single to date on the charts eclipsing “All I Want Is You,” “Sure Thing” and “Quickie” on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. The second EP, Kaleidoscope Dream: The Air Preview was released on September 11th, featuring the second single, “Do You…” The six tracks from the EPs are the first six tracks on the album. From there, there are an additional five new tracks which make up the final product, so Miguel fans who have already downloaded the EPs are in it for those tracks.
All I Want Is You is a hard album to follow-up. Though it didn’t do well in the sales department or with reviews, it was chocked full of hits. Plus it was enough to get Miguel a Soul Train Music Award for Best New Artist and another handful of collaborations with Hip-Hop artists.
Kaleidoscope Dream reinforces some of the issues that critics had with Miguel’s debut, but if Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange is critically acclaimed than surely Miguel should be one of the best albums of the year. Still I must admit its a hard album to review, personally I listened to it over 10 times over 4 days and still just couldn’t come to a consensus on my thoughts and feelings about the music.
“Don’t Look Back,” “Point and Arch” and “Candles In the Sun” are among the best tracks on the album. The surprise comes from “Where’s The Fun In Forever,” which features Alicia Keys. She’s the album’s only feature, but she doesn’t do too much to deter from Miguel on it either.
Essentially this comes down to a comparison with All I Want Is You. Kaleidoscope Dream is a good album, but not better than his debut. “Adorn” is not a better song than “Sure Thing” and “Point and Arch” isn’t a better song than “Quickie.” I know artists hate to be compared to their last projects, but in the case of Miguel that’s what it comes down to. So if that album was great, Kaleidoscope Dream is just good.
Kaleidoscope Dream receives a PAR