All I Want Is You is the debut studio album by American R&B singer and songwriter Miguel. It was released on November 30, 2010, by the Jive Records-imprint label ByStorm Entertainment, operated by music executive Mark Pitts, who had signed Miguel to the label.
After signing to ByStorm in 2007, Miguel recorded the album with producers Dre & Vidal, Fisticuffs, Happy Perez, State of Emergency, and Salaam Remi. It was shelved by Jive for two years after legal issues with the singer's former production company. Selling poorly upon its release, it became sleeper hit on the Billboard 200 with the help of singles such as the title track and \"Sure Thing\". By September 2012, it had sold 404,000 copies.
All I Want Is You received positive reviews; critics found some of the music inconsistent but praised Miguel's singing and songwriting abilities while drawing comparisons to Prince. Miguel toured in promotion of the album as a supporting act for fellow R&B singers Usher and Trey Songz.
As a burgeoning songwriter, Miguel had written the R&B song \"Sure Thing\", which was pitched to music executive Mark Pitts as a candidate for the singer Usher's tentative album. Pitts was impressed by both \"Sure Thing\" and \"Quickie\", as well as Miguel's performance in-person, and signed him to a recording contract instead of offering the songs to Usher. \"He came and performed and just had no fear. I loved him,\" Pitts later said of Miguel. \"He was like Elvis. He was all over the place at the time, but it was just different. With a little tweaking, this could be special.\"
After signing in 2007 to Pitts' Jive Records-imprint label, ByStorm Entertainment, Miguel began recording his first album, All I Want Is You. Recording sessions took place at Black Mango Studios in Van Nuys, California, Germano Studios in New York City, Glenwood Studios and Instrument Zoo in Miami, Florida, Studio 609 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and The Gym in Los Angeles, California.
According to Jason Newman from MTV Buzzworthy, All I Want Is You is \"a diverse album rooted in R&B and hip-hop, thoughtfully laced with elements of classic rock, funk and electro\". Marc Hogan from Spin said it featured neo soul music, while AllMusic critic David Jeffries described it as a \"slick\" and \"sexy\" synthesis of influences from Prince, Kanye West, and electro. \"Girls Like You\" and \"Hard Way\" feature aggressive hip hop beats, while \"Pay Me\" and \"To the Moon\" explore European electronic music and EDM, respectively.
According to Tom Hull, the album is an attempt at R&B's \"love man\" archetype, set against \"slinky, marginally funky rhythm[s]\". The album's first half features two romantic songs, an interlude, a song about a prostitute, and another about a quickie. The closing track \"My Piece\" uses a \"piece\"-\"peace\" homonym. Jeffries said the album featured Miguel's \"sly sense of humor\". On \"Sure Thing\", Miguel sang about loyalty in a passionate committed relationship.
After the recording's completion, legal issues with Miguel's former production company prevented the album from being released for two years. During this period, Miguel continued working with various underground acts and writing songs for mainstream recording artists, including Johnson&Jonson, Asher Roth, Jaheim, and Usher.
ByStorm Entertainment and Jive eventually released the album on November 30, 2010. It sold poorly at first, with first-week sales of 11,000 copies and a chart debut of number 109 on the Billboard 200. After falling off the chart for three weeks, it re-entered and climbed the Billboard 200 for 22 weeks, before peaking at number 37 on May 14, 2011. The album became a sleeper hit, and by September 2012, it had sold 404,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
According to Miguel, Jive marketed him as a \"typical R&B artist\" during their promotion of All I Want Is You: \"That album was a huge learning experience. I left the marketing of my album and me as an artist up to the discretion of the label ... I can't really blame them for [that], because that's what they know. But that's not what my lifestyle was.\" Four singles were released from the album: the title track \"All I Want Is You\", \"Sure Thing\", \"Quickie\", and \"Girls Like You\". As the title track gradually received radio airplay, Miguel began touring as a supporting act for Usher and Trey Songz. By May 2011, \"All I Want Is You\" and \"Sure Thing\" had reached a combined digital/mobile sales of over 825,000 units.
Reviewing for About.com in November 2010, Mark Edward Nero said Miguel \"somehow managed to vocally glide across each\" of the different styles he explored on All I Want Is You, which was nonetheless rooted in R&B. He deemed the record imperfect but devoid of a poor song. B. Wright from Vibe found the music inconsistent and \"schizophrenic\" but praised Miguel's singing and songwriting abilities while determining the record was \"worth the purchase price\". Slant Magazine's Matthew Cole said the second half of songs was \"less stimulating\" on an album that \"blends slick, radio-friendly R&B with Prince-aping theatrics, both refracted around a sense of humor that, surreal and sexually unsubtle, would have to make [Prince] proud\". Cole also compared Miguel to singer Kelis, \"whose work has an undeniably commercial cunning to it, but who never fails to imbue her pop confections with real personality\".
Miguel's ascent in the last five years has been like watching lightning in a bottle. After a lukewarm, producer-driven 2010 debut album All I Want Is You, the singer bearhugged a trendier alternative R&B sound for follow-up Kaleidoscope Dream, which marched up the charts on the sleeper success of throbbing slow jam \"Adorn\" and the fusion of introspection, sex and politics on tunes like \"Candles in the Sun.\" Since then, Miguel has made a series of career moves that are as carefully coiffed as his notable pompadour, collaborating with the likes of Mariah Carey, Jessie Ware, J. Cole (again), A$AP Rocky and the Chemical Brothers. And, joining the company of moving social media targets Drake and Ryan Gosling, Miguel became meme fodder, due to a much-publicized 2013 DWI and an ill-timed jump across the stage at the Billboard Music Awards that injured two audience members. But last year, he Beyoncé-dropped a free three-song EP, nwa.hollywooddreams.coffee, that suggested a return to a DIY, \"artiste\" sensibility.
For an album that is so focused on a single city, Wildheart is musically and sonically polymorphous. Crunchy rock guitars get front row seats here much more than on the last album (and guitar hero royalty Lenny Kravitz even makes a cameo on \"face the sun\") but Wildheart is a powerfully atmospheric, post-genre mix of soul, funk, synth pop, reggae, post-punk, grunge and hip-hop. Miguel, who is half black and half Mexican, offers an explanation for his restless style on the pensive shoegaze soul of \"what's normal anyway:\" \"Too proper for the black kids, too black for the Mexicans, too square to be a hood ... What's normal anyway?\" True to his own lyric, Miguel sees himself as a stylistic nonconformist who gets off on evading any and every pigeonhole. Trippy, bleached-out album opener \"a beautiful exit\" mixes TV news clips, new age inspirational lyrics, chimey guitars and beatific harmonies. The freaky, bumping bass groove of \"DEAL\" mixes hallucinogenic synthesizers, heavy delay and echo effects, pitch bending and menacing Funkadelic-shouted lyrics: \"Before I show you the money let me slide you a pill.\" Wildheart sounds like what '80s neon served up through an extreme Instagram filter looks like; it's a heady dose of retro art soul sonic experimentalism, best digested on your Beats earphones.
But Miguel sidesteps his own interest in the carnal for the fireplace romance of \"Coffee,\" in which he croons to his lover \"I just want to watch you sleep\" over a hopscotching beat and a twinkling arpeggio. Lyrics like, \"We talk street art and sarcasm / crass humor and high fashion / peach color, moon glistens, the plot thickens / as we laugh over shotguns and tongue kisses / bubble bath, Truth or Dare and Would You Rather\" suggest Coldplay, Keane or maybe even Savage Garden more than Marvin Gaye. Miguel really excels as a songwriter on the soaring melody and overcast drama of \"leaves.\" And \"Hollywood Dreams\" is a thoughtful read of Los Angeles as a double-edged sword: \"Sweet Hollywood sign, you're my salvation,\" he admits. Miguel's earnest romantic declarations for women and for his hometown reminds us that his path to R&B has less to do with the gospel-drenched, sin vs. redemption approach that defines the careers of icons from Al Green to D'Angelo. Miguel's music is diaristic, confessional and (when not being explicitly sexual), willfully abstract. He's on his way somewhere, a journey to self, and you're along for the ride.
In the aftermath of tragedies in cities like Ferguson and Charleston, and musical responses by artists like Kendrick Lamar, some will listen to Wildheart hoping for a more trenchantly political statement. But Wildheart is in its own way political, at least in the sense that it insists on a non-conforming identity and the search for authentic self in an era of collective tumult and disappointment. Some will also go to Wildheart looking for a sequel to the radio-ready nugget that was \"Adorn.\" But like Kanye West and Frank Ocean, Miguel seems to want to make albums as lasting concept statements more than he wants to churn out easily digestible hits. And so Wildheart's hazy looseness will read to some as formlessness and undisciplined; for others, it