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War & Leisure Image
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81

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics What's this?

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7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 57 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fourth full-length studio release for the R&B singer-songwriter features guest appearances from J. Cole, Salaam Remi, Rick Ross, Travis Scott, and Kali Uchis.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. 90
    War & Leisure is an album with a generous helping of highlights, not least because of Miguel’s enviable vocal versatility and affinity for dramatic songcraft, an irresistible combo that sees him playing both hero and villain in his own fantasy.
  2. Dec 1, 2017
    83
    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.
  3. Dec 1, 2017
    81
    On War & Leisure, he sounds unconflicted and ready to rumble. The freedom he promises his lovers in his music extends to himself, and he’s better than ever at just letting go.
  4. 80
    War & Leisure lacks the obvious identity that has marked out Miguel’s previous three albums, but that’s no fault. By comparison, this is 
a compelling collection of poptastic R&B tracks made to soundtrack your night out.
  5. Dec 8, 2017
    80
    The shimmering War & Leisure, the singer’s fourth LP, finds him operating in a similarly creative groove [as on 2015's Wildheart] but tamping down wolfish eroticism in favor of breezier, tropical vibes.
  6. Dec 1, 2017
    80
    Even if the commercial tea leaves don't come together in his favor, War & Leisure has shown that, artistically at least, Miguel is exactly where he needs to be.
  7. Dec 4, 2017
    58
    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.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Dec 20, 2017
    9
    this is one of the albums that I forgot to pay attention to the lyrics when I was listening but got lost more inside the tunes and how itthis is one of the albums that I forgot to pay attention to the lyrics when I was listening but got lost more inside the tunes and how it takes you hear an there with a cool collection of beats and melodies . If you are in a bad mood and suddenly this one is playing , there's 90% of chance that energy Miguel brings with his music will defiantly take the you into a great mood. I think that sure makes the album a great one to listen if you are looking to have a good time listening to music . Love the album . Expand
  2. Dec 19, 2017
    9
    Some may be disappointed by the lack of sexual personality Miguel is knowing for in his music on this album even though it's still there butSome may be disappointed by the lack of sexual personality Miguel is knowing for in his music on this album even though it's still there but with a mix of politics and social issues but that's a good thing in my opinion because it shows much growth Miguel has made on this project. This album is a mix of Wildheart and Kaleidoscope Dream in one and fans of either of those albums will be pleased.

    My only flaw has to be some of the features on this album. Rick Ross' verse on "Criminal" was surprisingly good, Travis Scott did his thing on "Sky Walker" but J. Cole's political verse on "Come Through and Chill" felt flat and it's better off without him since the original version is way better. The female collabs may be disappointing for some people because of them only doing background vocals but the vibe of the songs "Wolf" and "Caramelo Duro" QUIN and Kali Uchis gave in them fitted their overall aesthetic if anyone on here are familiar with their music

    Favorite Tracks: Wolf, Banana Clip, Now, Harem, Pineapple Skies
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  3. Dec 2, 2017
    8
    This album is very expressive and it shows how Miguel has grown since Kaleidoscope dream. It's not as ambitious as Wildheart or well craftedThis album is very expressive and it shows how Miguel has grown since Kaleidoscope dream. It's not as ambitious as Wildheart or well crafted as Kaleidoscope dream but it's a beautiful addition to his discography as it is an album that sounds like pure leisure. It was created for care free listeners and abstract thinkers at the same time (like Wildheart). This is his worst album but it's nowhere near bad and it's one of the top albums of the year. We are 3 albums in now and Miguel is still crying for Frank Ocean level respect. He has definitely earned it with this album along with his previous two. BRAVO, Miguel!

    Highlights: Pineapple Skies, Skywalker, Banana Clip, Harem, City of Angels
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  4. Jan 14, 2018
    8
    What excites me most about Miguel is how each release exemplifies his continual growth as an artist and an individual. War & Leisure combinesWhat excites me most about Miguel is how each release exemplifies his continual growth as an artist and an individual. War & Leisure combines the refinement of Kaleidoscope Dream with the dynamism and funkadelia of Wildheart to create a sound at once sophisticated and groovy. Miguel's form of lyrical expression is all his own here (as it has been on previous albums), as he articulates pain, love, and desire with a poeticism and nuance comparable to no other artist in pop music. His creativity is also present in the album's structuring, specifically in how the record's latter half deftly balances the personal and the political on songs like 'Told You So' and 'Come Through and Chill', and he even opts for overt politicism on album closer 'Now'. Miguel's powerful juxtaposing of his personal relationships with the current state of America and the remaining world makes this record's title a fitting one, and I'm proud to call War & Leisure one of my favorite releases of 2017.

    Highlights include 'Criminal,' 'Sky Walker,' and 'Wolf'.
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  5. Dec 2, 2017
    7
    Miguel releasing an album filled with colorful summer jams in December seemed very unusual, but there's much more under the initial layer.Miguel releasing an album filled with colorful summer jams in December seemed very unusual, but there's much more under the initial layer. "War & Leisure" sees Miguel taking his brand of nostalgic R&B and exploring (as the name suggests) current social and political issues with a stroke of modern romanticism. The most obvious examples include "City Of Angels", detailing a failed relationship in the backdrop of an apocalyptic war in Los Angeles, or "Now", which concerns recent natural disasters and racial tensions in the States. It works well in most cases, but Miguel's problem seems to be his lack of focus on the topics of this project. "Caramelo Duro" is the main culprit, while unapologetically sounding exactly like Calvin Harris' "Feels". The production is also inconsistent, most of the time pleasingly blending 70's soul with modern Top 40 pop, other times making songs like "Harem" and "Anointed" feel boring and uneventful. The guests help somewhat, with a surprisingly fitting Rick Ross verse on the guitar-heavy opener "Criminal" and J. Cole's kind-of mediocre, political feature on "Come Through And Chill" standing out the most. There's a huge amount potential lost here, but a lot of quality songs elevate "War & Leisure" above mediocrity.
    Favorites: "Criminal", "Pineapple Skies", "Banana Clip", "Told You So", "City Of Angels", "Now"
    Least Favorites: "Wolf", "Caramelo Duro"
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  6. Dec 21, 2017
    6
    The music has a consistent groove with mellow tempos and a nice spotlight on the electric guitar, but that’s really all it has in terms ofThe music has a consistent groove with mellow tempos and a nice spotlight on the electric guitar, but that’s really all it has in terms of worth, with a lack of real harmonic color and oddly paced, unsurprising, boring melodies that don’t break free from sounding like a marketable ploy to bring in fans of all ages. My Score: 116/180 (Good) = 6.4/10 Expand