Miguel’s War & Leisure Review

Miguel’s highly anticipated fourth studio album has finally arrived. After a slow start to 2017, the R&B singer released his album War & Leisure, which explores the sounds of psychedelic funk and combines sexual vibrations with political energy.

War & Leisure serves as a means of escape, a way to shake loose from the chaos occurring today. The album kicks off with the “Criminal” featuring Rick Ross, a playful and innocuous song about sex and power. It then transitions to Miguel’s homage to Prince, “Pineapple Skies” with lyrics that prove to be a stand-in for freedom, singing “Can we look up, look up baby / There’s pineapple purple skies / Promise everything’s goin’ be alright.”

In his interview for Entertainment Weekly, Miguel says, “[War & Leisure is] the best way to describe the time. Culturally, it’s the most fitting title to describe the energy. On so many levels, I feel like we’re having to really push through and fight for positivity.”

The album isn’t only about blind escapism: it also acknowledges the troubles society is seeking relief from. “Come Through and Chill” features J.Cole, who delivers a verse addressing Colin Kaepernick and police brutality.

War & Leisure ends with “Now,” a call for solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico, Houston, the Black Lives Matter Movement and Standing Rock. The song kicks off with powerful lyrics, “CEO of the free world now / Build your walls up high and wide / Make it rain to keep them out / That won’t change what we are inside”

Miguel creates a beautiful balance between his iconic hypnotic, sexual voice and a narrative for the rigid society that exists today.

On War & Leisure, Miguel is more outspoken and unconfined than ever before. The freedom that he has promised his fans was fully realized throughout the album while also bringing up the social injustices occurring within our society. It is impossible to ignore what’s happening in the world. This album adds further dimension to Miguel’s writing and shows his maturation as an artist.