Neo-soul crooner Miguel stopped by last night’s Tonight Show for a hypnotic performance of his second single “Sure Thing.” His leather-and-shades look was very post-Kanye. But his sound—nearly a year out from his first single—could fairly be called post–Bruno Mars:
When Miguel dropped “All I Want Is You” last spring, he was solidly in the slow-burn soul camp a la D’Angelo, and he was rewarded with a Top 10 R&B/Hip-Hop hit. Given the long gap before dropping his album late last fall and his second single this winter, it’s pretty clear he kept listening to the radio, which was overtaken by Mars’s Smeezingtons posse during that time. “Sure Thing” sounds like Ne-Yo doing a sequel to “Grenade,” which is actually a mighty fine idea.
Coming less than a week after Sunday’s Grammy showcase by Mars, Janelle Monáe and B.o.B—widely agreed to be a highlight of the show—there’s growing evidence that we’ve entered some kind of postmodern-Motown era of R&B. Next: Mario and Lloyd do their answer to “Fuck You”?