Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Miguel: Kaleidoscope Dream [RCA, 2012]
He's major now, and musically, this locks in top to bottom. "Adorn"'s throbbing, garbled hook is one of 2012's signature pop moments, and even when he settles for an ordinary tune he devises a way to trick it up. Lyrically he goes for it too, including a "Use Me" he can sing forever. But that doesn't mean anyone else will, and I do wonder why the two most memorable lines by this certified improvement on R. Kelly are "Do you like drugs?" and "How many drinks would it take you to leave with me?" Final track--they always save it for the final track--he bids for redeeming social content with a song bearing the nicely turned title "Candles in the Sun." Here's hoping--and half believing, because he's a bright, decent dude--he improves on it. A-