Miguel, War & Leisure | Critics Weigh In
What did critics think about ‘War & Leisure,’ the fourth studio album by urban contemporary artist Miguel? All in all, reviews were positive.
On December 1, 2017, Miguel released his highly anticipated, fourth studio album, War & Leisure. From my perspective, War & Leisure was another high quality, well-rounded album, and scored 4/5 stars upon review. The question is, what did the professional critics, whose scores are aggregated by Metacritic, view the album. As of publication, War & Leisure sits at a superb score of 79.
The Mixed Reviews
As of yet, there are 13 professional reviews for War & Leisure. 11/13 reviews are positive – roughly 85%. The other two reviews – 15% – were mixed. There are no negative reviews for the project. The two mixed reviews arrive courtesy of Q Magazine and Sputnikmusic.
According to Q Music (Metascore 60):
“Miguel has been mentioned in the same breath as Frank Ocean…and the Weeknd, but this album doesn’t quite unlock such self-contained worlds. [Jan 2018, p.107]”
Okay… As for Sputnikmusic, the lowest scoring review for the album (Metascore 58), reviewer Arcade writes:
“Lyrically, it’s inconsistent, and doesn’t serve its title or occasional flirtations with current events very well besides a few references smattered in every other song. Musically, though, it feels more disposable than before, and less beholden to locking into deeper, more resonant grooves.”
The Positive Reviews
Luckily, more critics were ‘feeling’ War & Leisure than not. Besides scores of 58 and 60 aforementioned, the only other sub-70 score for the project comes from Pretty Much Amazing, whom Metacritic assigned a score of 67. The only “70” assigned to the album came from Rolling Stone, who awarded Miguel 3 ½ / 5 stars for the project. Reviewer Maura Johnston kicks off the brief review stating, “The L.A. soul explorer’s fourth album creates a space where psych-funk splendor coexists with deep anxiety.” Poetic. Throughout the review, Johnston keeps it positive.
The Enthusiastic Reviews
The rest of the critics were more optimistic. Six critics awarded the album an 80 (Boston Globe, The Observer (UK), Slant, Exclaim, NME, and The Guardian). Even more enthusiastic were the highest scorers: Pitchfork (81), Consequence of Sound (83), and The A.V. Club (83). According to reviewer Marty Sartini Garner, the album earned a score of a B+. He sums up his review stating:
“Miguel wears War & Leisure’s looseness well, and even if he doesn’t reveal much of himself, he still has the charisma to pull the whole ensemble off.”
All in all, it looks like most folks are on-board with War & Leisure.