by Andrew Casillas
It’s not every day that Club Fonograma gets to review a full-bodied R&B album. But when we do, we take our damn time. Of course, when the record is as good as the collection of three EPs released this spring by Mexican American loverboy Miguel, you could be forgiven to leave criticism at the door and lose yourself in its excellence. And these EPs truly are excellent at times. They aren’t anything completely new, and they aren’t really out to set trends or recapture a lost era. The best stuff is just really well-crafted, accessible, modern R&B.
What makes the Art Dealer Chic records work is they understand the full gamut of what makes R&B work. Which is, in a word, confidence. I’d be willing to say that, unlike peers such as Chris Brown, Miguel probably listens to Usher and plays the album tracks. Listens to The-Dream and hears why the songs weren’t all outsourced to Robin Thicke. Listens to Ne-Yo and hears how a proper vocal actually works with the music, instead of becoming the overwhelming focal point.