Wildheart, Miguel’s third album, was released Monday. As the Jezebel staff gave it a collective spin, we noticed something about it: we couldn’t listen to the album in its entirety without taking several breaks, for certain reasons. Here’s how long we made it through.
9 Minutes: When I heard the lusty reverbs on “Coffee” months ago, I lost it and I’ve since listened to that song several thousand times, melting each time. So I had no reason to doubt Miguel when he said this album would sound like “pure sex.” I was ready to sacrifice the rest of my composure, but still...I barely made it through the first listen of Wildheart before catching feelings during a train ride (and saying “Whoa.”) when I heard “Lips. Tits. Clit. Sit” on “the valley,” which sounds both like free form erotica and the soundtrack to a cave orgy. A break was needed. I later dove back in, better prepared for the raw urge of “waves” and “FLESH.” Even the least sexual songs like “what’s normal anyway” and “leaves” have that sensual Cali beach haze effect that makes Miguel Miguel. The album is really all about the natural godliness and sacredness of sex and I love it. —Clover Hope
7 Minutes: The “Coffee” video was nearly the death of me. The day it dropped I watched it one time like a normal person, mouth agape, then came home, drank two glasses of wine and ended up just gawking at it on repeat three or four times in a row, irritatedly shooing away my boyfriend when he attempted to talk to me. The way Miguel sings “gunplay” as sexaphor and practically coos the whole way through, the audible embodiment of his “pillow talk,” is withering. He is Miguel. He is Blaxican and has a tattoo of a scorpion on his left clavicle. Viva la pinche raza.
I knew going in to Wildheart I’d be a goner. I assumed it would occur during “the valley”’s porno fantasy, but the way he flicked up a note on the chorus reminded me of ultimate boner-killer Stephen Malkmus. I trudged on through “Coffee” (and maybe watched the video again...), rewound to get another gander of “the valley,” began hyperventilating, and finally breathed my last breath around the time he sang “pour your sins on me/ let us pray” because, as a good lapsed Mexican Catholic, I am a sucker for a Chicano bad boy who blasphemes. He is Miguel. He has corrupted me. I have died. —Julianne Escobedo Shepherd
9 Minutes: Honestly, this album did nothing for me. Miguel in general does nothing for me. I could have listened to the whole thing as it faded into white noise, but I didn’t. Because I didn’t care. That’s not to say I didn’t like it, I just didn’t find it particularly sexy and felt like turning on something else.
Maybe I’ll finish it this weekend while I fold laundry or scrub the toilet. —Bobby Finger [ed. note: YOU TRIPPIN]
34 Minutes: I just learned from Billboard’s review of Wildheart that Miguel has a girlfriend of ten years and, dude, I am embarrassed to say that I’ve already imagined what they probably look like going at it. Don’t judge me! The marketing around Miguel and his “brand” is so good that just listening to songs like “the valley,” I can’t help but visualize images of him cuddling some chick in a video and biting her lips. This is when I have to turn off Wildheart—including standouts “FLESH” and “Coffee,” the last of which I’ve been listening to on repeat since his album preview dropped awhile back—because I have things to do! Like work! I can’t be over here daydreaming! —Hillary Crosley Coker
82 Minutes: I listened to the whole thing straight through twice, mostly because I thought if I stopped I would not be able to pick it back up again.
Miguel has made it plenty clear that this album is even more about sex than his last, which is GREAT. But it feels overwhelming, both in terms of lyrical content (“I want to fuck like we’re filming in the valley,” he sings in “the valley,” presumably about having sex with a girl like they’re filming a porn), and the sound quality, which is all over the place, with layers upon layers of noise. The Hyundai insurance and McDonalds commercials that broke it up for me via Spotify were almost welcome breaks.
It’s pretty clear he released the best songs early. —Kate Dries [ed. note: DANG SON]
32 Minutes: I made it to “FLESH” before I realized that I was becoming involuntarily aroused at work. Like Adam and Eve after consuming the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, I was suddenly aware that I was naked, in the middle of my office, and that Miguel was making gentle tender love to my ears. And I was suddenly ashamed.
About 3/4 of the way through “gfg,” I had to go take a walk outside. When I came back to my desk, I promptly reported myself to HR.
I could and will definitely fuck to this. —Erin Gloria Ryan
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Image via ByStorm/RCA