Critic's Pick

Miguel drops surprise 3-song EP with odes 'N.W.A.,' 'Hollywood Dreams'

San Pedro's greatest R&B export Miguel has released a surprise new EP

San Pedro's great young rhythm & blues seducer Miguel has released a surprise new three-song EP, and among its best moments is a refrain -- and title -- dedicated to Compton's essential rap team N.W.A.

If that's not enough to lift the morning spirits, the track features a fantastic verse by O.G. Los Angeles rapper Kurupt of Tha Dogg Pound. It's worthy of its title: a killer slow-burning work about a woman with great taste in hip-hop and weed. 

It's one of two songs thematically connected by Southern California. The second track, "Hollywood Dreams," focuses on the temptations of fame, and rolls along with one of Miguel's typically solid guitar runs and heavy tom-tom rhythms. A song about fame, cocaine, "palm trees and numb sensation," it features a coy reference to David Bowie in one of its best verses: "We could be better than heroes," sings Miguel. "We could fly higher than spaceships baby, all night long."

The other track is about coffee, which automatically gives it a thematic leg up on most other songs. Those interested in starting the day with some symmetry can drink their morning java while listening to the song, and the two others, at Miguel's Soundcloud page. Be forewarned: The track "N.W.A" has a lot of cusses in it.  

The artist has been silent for much of 2014 while he works on the follow-up to his 2012 breakout album "Kaleidoscope Dream." The new record does not have a release date, but these three tracks certainly ratchet up the anticipation. 

Follow Randall Roberts on Twitter: @liledit

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