Nice Hits! is a Reverb column that unironically dissects, reviews, and appreciates the best songs of the current Top 40. It is unsnobbishly premised on>"/>
Nice Hits! is a Reverb column that unironically dissects, reviews, and appreciates the best songs of the current Top 40. It is unsnobbishly premised on the logic that just because a lot of the music on the radio is crap doesn't mean all the music on the radio is crap.
The hit: "Adorn," Miguel, off Kaleidoscope Dream.
Current chart position: #64 on iTunes, #4 on iTunes R&B/Soul, #31 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
The team: On Kaleidoscope Dream, his second LP, 25-year-old Miguel Pimentel worked with such acclaimed songwriters and producers as Jerry Wonda (The Fugees, Estelle, Keri Hilson) and Salaam Remi (Amy Winehouse, Nas, Alicia Keys), but he wrote and produced "Adorn" himself. Miguel wrote tracks for Usher and Musiq Soulchild before releasing his own album, All I Want is You, in 2010. He was subsequently nominated for Grammy and Billboard awards and picked up a Soul Train Music Award for Best New Artist and a BET Award for his hit collaboration with Wale, "Lotus Flower Bomb."
Breakdown: It's a truism that many of the sexiest songs in pop music are the unassuming ones. Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" is like that: It drips with sensuality, but the song sounds so smooth and slick, it doesn't have to demand for anything. There's no sense of trying too hard. In its easy melody and honeyed vocals, Miguel's "Adorn" resembles "Sexual Healing." There's an understated allure to it--you'll fall for the song without even realizing it. Miguel's voice is gorgeous--his falsetto scrapes the sky--but he never lets it get carried away. That restraint reflects in the minimalist instrumentation, too--a staticky drumbeat and silky synths that the vocals fairly glide over.
Miguel's adoring lyrics do well in keeping the song simple, sweet, and straightforward--"These lips can't wait to taste your skin/Baby, no, no/And these eyes, yeah, can't wait to see your grin," later throwing in a touch of chivalry--"Baby these fists will always protect you, lady/And this mind, oh, will never neglect you." He made a particularly nice choice of metaphor in the song's chorus--"Let my love adorn you." When a woman hears the word "adorn," she probably thinks of diamonds and Dior; Miguel's rich vocals convey the same sense of luxury. That's a man who knows how to treat a woman. Ladies, we just found our new favorite make-out jam.
Below, Miguel's performance of "Adorn" on Letterman earlier this month: