Preview: Miguel at The Anthem

 Photo courtesy of the Greek Theatre.

Photo courtesy of the Greek Theatre.

The makings of a perfectly balanced, alluring and compelling pop star was formerly very cut and dry. Often, this balance hung in the heteronormative swing, accented by truly predictable characteristics, and was, frankly, phenomenally uninteresting. But, it’s 2018 and we, the plebs of greater popular culture, know better than to expect patterns to hold in the insanity that has been the past year. Through the cloud of chaos, enters the insanely smooth, evidently talented vocalist and star sensation, Miguel. Known for his effortless falsetto and swoon-worthy crooning, Miguel has challenged the expectations and boundaries of his reputation as an R&B influenced pop vocalist. Over the course of his ever-growing career, he continues to pop out singles that are objectively worthy of their consistent radio airplay and dominance of Top 40 charts, but has used the space of four full length albums to dabble into less traditional production styles and experimental genre-blending.

While pop hits like “Adorn” and “Sky Walker” could be heard bumping through radios across the country at the time of their release, it is the deeper cuts into his discography and musical interests that make him a uniquely remarkable talent. His use of guitars on his second album “Kaleidoscope Dream” and 2015’s underrated “Wildheart” record is as interesting as it is easy to listen to, serving as a welcome accent to Miguel’s wide vocal range. In his most recent album, 2017’s “War & Leisure,” he effortlessly glides between genres and influences with every track. In the opening track, “Criminal,” he contrasts a dreamy musical, ethereal musical backdrop adorned with harps to the rasp of the legendary Rick Ross and Tame Impala-inspired fuzz guitar. “Pineapple Skies” follows, with the kind of belting and honestly odd, yet endearing samples of hollering that keep listeners in Miguel’s pocket through the rest of the record, with certifiable bops like the sultry “Banana Clip” and the Prince-flavored “Told You So.”

More recently, Miguel has prominently fused his Spanish heritage with familiar pop instrumentation, in dance tracks like the addictive “Caramelo Duro,” featuring rising vocalist Kali Uchis. Miguel also released a Spanish version of the hit, “Banana Clip” complete with artillery-clad female protagonists and rocks a grill in the backseat of a fast car. Most interestingly, however, is Miguel’s collaboration with Los Angeles-based Chicano Batman, in celebration of their mutually-shared Mexican roots. In this truly compelling mash-up, the artists cover each other’s songs, bringing new depths to Miguel and Travis Scott’s “Sky Walker” and Chicano Batman’s breakout hit, “Black Lipstick.” In the videos, it is endearing to watch these artists find commonalities in their very distinct sounds, breaking out new notes and tones through their admiration for each other and reveling in the familiarity of their shared heritage.

Hot off his electric performance at Brooklyn’s Afropunk, Miguel is sure to deliver a performance as rare as his remarkable talent. Come revel in the glory of some of 2018’s most memorable hits with us at this show on Tuesday, September 4 at The Anthem, because, let’s be honest, we’re all here for mid-week dance party. Scoop up your tickets to dance with us on the floor here!