While unannounced new tracks from the game’s heavy hitters are always welcome–even if we’re sometimes left sitting on single artwork for a week–it’s nice when artists stick to schedule. Such is the case for Miguel, who closes out his “micro EP” trilogy as promised with the release of Art Dealer Chic Vol. 3.
When Miguel announced plans to roll out a trio of monthly three-song releases back in February, it struck me as an interesting strategy, but not particularly noteworthy on the whole (this despite having been won over by his underappreciated debut album, All I Want is You). To his credit, the series has paid off nicely: not only have the EPs yielded one or two (or three) of the best R&B records this year, but Art Dealer Chic also seems to have exposed Miguel’s music to a greater number of ears. In a case of artistic achievement finally winning out in terms of attracting high-profile attention, Nitsuh Abebe lauded the high quality of Miguel’s recent output in the latest entry of his popular Pitchfork feature “Why We Fight.”
As for Art Dealer Chic Vol. 3, Miguel switches things up a bit, eschewing the front-loaded structure of the first two entries in favor of a stronger closing. The high-minded “Candles in the Sun, Blowin’ in the Wind” matches post-dubstep-soul with disillusioned social commentary, but the real statement record might be the raunchy, hard charging “Ooh Ahh!” What seems at first to be a placeholder track–its been floating around the net for a few years–ends up carrying a clever message: futuristic, genre-bending R&B might be trendy in 2012, but Miguel’s been doing this. It’s an indicator of a long-term vision, a reminder in the midst of newer songs that further highlight his ability to bridge the gap between ambition and accessibility.
Download ADCV3 from here and stream it below.