When: Sat., Sept. 5, 8 p.m. 2015
Wildheart, the acclaimed new album by Angeleno R&B singer Miguel, features a seemingly incongruous sonic palette: thick, crunchy rock guitars; guttural, modulating EDM synth lines; and rickety acoustic percussion fused to electronic beats. Similarly, the subject matter and themes conflict and defy one another. The single, “coffee,” finds Miguel detailing a sensual morning-after scene, while “the valley” is carnal and lascivious, its title alluding to San Fernando Valley’s porn industry. For the understated and reserved “NWA,” Miguel tapped the raspy-voiced rapper Kurupt. On “What’s Normal Anyways?,” the singer looks at his mixed heritage and its bearing on his cultural identity. Likewise, his voice is malleable, landing on bleary-eyed soul, chilling falsetto, and hushed grumble. Many critics have praised Miguel’s sense of duality and contradiction on Wildheart, which upon repeat listens feels more and more like a California record for those very reasons. Miguel performs at the Fox Theater (1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) on Saturday.