Miguel - All I Want Is You (2010)

Miguel
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Los Angeles native Miguel Jontel Pimentel spun his childhood pain (his parents' divorce) and creativity into a burgeoning career in the music biz, signing his first deal at 14 and going on to pen hooks (Asher Roth's "His Dream") and lyrics for Usher ("Pro Lover") and Musiq ("If You Leave").  Nine years later, having already performed on stages with Mary J. Blige and J. Cole (during Jay-Z's historic concert at Yankee stadium), Miguel is building buzz as the opening act slot for Usher's "OMG Tour" and may catch on further thanks to his slickly-produced debut, All I Want Is You.

Los Angeles native Miguel Jontel Pimentel spun his childhood pain (his parents' divorce) and creativity into a burgeoning career in the music biz, signing his first deal at 14 and going on to pen hooks (Asher Roth's "His Dream") and lyrics for Usher ("Pro Lover") and Musiq ("If You Leave").  Nine years later, having already performed on stages with Mary J. Blige and J. Cole (during Jay-Z's historic concert at Yankee stadium), Miguel is building buzz as the opening act slot for Usher's "OMG Tour" and may catch on further thanks to his slickly-produced debut, All I Want Is You.

 His abstract-driven, synth-heavy style of urbanized pop, which he categorizes as "eclectric," drives the majority of the tracks, which he wrote and produced with State of Emergency, Happy Perez and Dre and Vidal. Some of the most straight-ahead R&B can be found on its catchy lead single, the J. Cole-featuring up tempo "All I Want Is You," the swaying "Sure Thing" and the Prince-influenced, slinky slow grind, "Teach Me." The smoothest song of the bunch is also the most sexualized of the collection, "Vixen," where he croons and pleads for a little role play to spice things up: "We can be cops and robbers, Tarzan and Jane/Marilyn and Robert, but either way the objective is the same, to please and entertain."

As proficient as he is, the one drawback that All....can't overcome is his paper-thin vocals. While he isn't tone deaf, Miguel delivers most of the material in conversational cadence, which can be frustrating since he obviously knows how to craft melodies and hooks. "Hero" displays a nice falsetto, for example, but he seems oddly content to coast along with his one-dimensional upper register on otherwise solid songs like "Girls Like You," "Quickie" and "Hard Way," and relies too heavily on gimmicks for tracks like "Pay Me" and "My Piece," both of them laced with robotic hyper-sped phrasing that annoys rather than endears. 

Functioning as a demonstration of his overall polish and potential, All I Want Is You is a CD that is more pop and dance-driven than out-and-out soulful. Being attractive and "eclectric" will help Miguel stand out, but this ambitious and enterprising performer should develop that singing steeze as well to broaden his appeal and keep those skills in demand for the long run.  

Notable Tracks: "Vixen," "Hard Way", and "Girls Like You"

Vocals: 3.0
Lyrics: 3.5
Music: 3.0
Production: 4.0
Soultracks call: Moderately recommended

By Melody Charles

 

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