Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Miguel ft. Travis Scott – Sky Walker

2017 singles — uh, best out of three?


Ryo Miyauchi: “Sky Walker” certainly sounds like its supposed origin story of Miguel just shooting the shit in the studio. If the title wasn’t an indication, it’s a gallery of eye-roll-inducing punchlines, like a bad pre-Dark Sky Paradise Big Sean parody. It’s not like Miguel hasn’t indulged in a playful side before: who else in pop challenges a rock-paper-scissors match, loses and begs for a “best two out of three!” as a way to flirt? But such flashes of silliness made his dedicated-lover persona more charming. This laziness only distracts.

Ramzi Awn: Miguel doesn’t need to try too hard on “Sky Walker,” and it pays off. Pairing a breezy tune with a frothy beat, the single makes for a welcome late-summer jam. The eerie outro doesn’t hurt either.  

Stephen Eisermann: Artists experimenting lets them live their truth in their artistry, but sometimes it results in some… bizarre results. “”Sky Walker” finds Miguel — a terrific vocalist by near-anyone’s standards — holding back on a track that largely lacks a melody. The combination of trap and hip-hop is intriguing, but intrigue alone can’t sell this.

Alfred Soto: I’d rather Miguel stream/ship gold on R&B than on another rock move, however fascinating the results. These results aren’t fascinating; that rich, fulsome voice wastes its time on sub-Jeremih material. Not a splash, more a splish.

Nortey Dowuona: Miguel makes an average Migos song, while Travis at least doesn’t ruin it.

Katherine St Asaph: Miguel’s progginess/Lennyness and Travis Scott’s Travis Scottness bring out the worst in one another — the latter’s joylessness compounds the former’s tendency, dormant since All I Want Is You, to shrug his vocals off the key.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Two singers who have little idea of how to effectively utilize their vocals come together to create one of their best songs to date, and it’s largely because of their singing. “Sky Walker” sounds like it’s birthed from an off-the-cuff studio session initially performed in jest, and it’s this precise reason that the unabashedly corny lyrics register as lighthearted and, well, fun.

Maxwell Cavaseno: As the drifty, “druggy” end of R&B continues to wallow in agonized fake depth, whether to maintain some sort of pseudo-spiritual depth or exhausted performative angst, we somehow have a miraculously joyful record featuring Travis Scott? It makes a certain amount of sense that this would come from Miguel, who’s proven again that he understands how to hybridize genres so that he never reaches “Redbone”-level histrionic cosplay, and that he knows how to make the aimless drift feel inviting and pleasant, never a chore (unless, y’know, you’re like me and you hate “Sure Thing”). “Sky Walker” works because it’s playful and innocuous, and goddamn if it isn’t a feat that Travis Scott for once doesn’t make everything this dull hellscape of being FUCKED UP MAAAAN. Perhaps the real trick is that “Sky Walker” is a throwback to Miguel’s real formative years, the 2dopeboyz era, as the record could easily be described as a fantasy Wiz Khalifa comeback record as A&Red by Swae Lee.

Rebecca A. Gowns: The perfect summer song dropped at the end of summer; an epilogue that promises “and we all lived happily ever after” despite all evidence to the contrary. Just focus on Miguel’s sweet voice and the cool beat. Splish.

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