Miguel: Art Dealer Chic 4
After his incredible debut album, Kaleidoscope Dreams, Miguel has gone criminally underrated.
His music becomes more brazen, more expressive with each release. There's an incredible freedom in the fourth installation in his Art Dealer Chic series. It's short but bruises like a punch to the face.
There are moments when one could argue the album is cruel, harsh and unapologetic in its sexual fearlessness. But that's all it really is. An honest portrayal of a man who's always been unafraid to peel back the layers of his sexual bravado to reveal (and revel in) the deeply human, deeply carnal, painfully vulnerable individual underneath.
With Art Dealer Chic 4, Miguel straight-up tells his audience that he lies to avoid the truth. He uses sex as a coping mechanism. Self-defense of a sexually jaded man of the world ("Funeral"). All the while making it his tool to masquerade his frail ego as sexual dominance. A fanfiction caricature a la Christian Gray that hides some true vulnerability. In "Triangle Love," we get a brilliant use of one of the most incredible scenes ever put to screen: the confrontation between Julia Roberts and Clive Owen from psychological drama Closer. As if our album's protagonist has met his match in someone who not only shows his same sexual appetite, but his equally abrupt penchant for using sex as both a weapon and a means to manifest something real.
This EP is brutal in the most beautiful way. An album that pretends to be a one-night stand when really it's an elongated croon of a man desperate for someone to touch him deeply enough to feel something other than lost.