Trey Songz, Miguel, Elle Varner Agenda Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., Dec. 1, 8 p.m. 2012

R&B singer Miguel Jontel Pimentel is just 26 and has been a professional musician for ten years, but he's spent most of that time writing and producing for other artists (Asher Roth, Jaheim, Usher) while banging his head against a number of walls in frustrated attempts to launch his own singing career. His recent Kaleidoscope Dreams (RCA)—which follows the Art Dealer Chic trio of digital EPs, released in the spring—has fixed all that. It's artsy and ambitious, and it came out at what might be the apex of a critics' craze for artsy and ambitious R&B records (Frank Ocean's Channel Orange, the Weeknd's Triology). The first single, "Adorn," wraps 70s-style post-Marvin Gaye sensitive-lover-man soul in high-end contemporary synth-rap production, while the second, "Do You . . .," mashes together reggae-tinged British new wave, Beatlesque psych pop, and 80s slap-bass funk. Quirky as it is, Kaleidoscope is also a bona fide chart success, suggesting that mainstream listeners might be just as gaga over idiosyncratic R&B as the critics are. —Miles Raymer Trey Songz headlines; Miguel and Elle Varner open.

Price: $48-$103

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