The debates as to whether great art should be judged by innovation or the craft and skill with which it is created will probably roll on forever, but we prefer to judge it from an emotional rather than an intellectual perspective. Our question is always does the art move us in a positive way, does it make us feel something? Then if it does, for whatever reason, then on a personal level it’s great art and nobody can argue against that because there’s a connection. It’s why ultimately all arguments about what is good / bad, great/terrible, amazing/awful music are redundant and irrelevant – it’s about how you feel, not what anyone else thinks.
If Michael Kiwanuka was judged in terms of innovation, then he would probably be packed off to the amenity tip right now. Everything about him seems incredibly old-fashioned, right down to the faded sepia brown tones of the cover art and 70's typeface and framing for his record sleeve. Yet his rich, warm tones and subtle strong spine tingling songs are so simply affecting that to deny a connection with them is deny yourself an opportunity to enrich your life.
With an album due next March, his new EP Home Again will be released on the 1st January 2011. What better way to smooth of your inevitable Hogmanay hangover than by letting his music strip away the poisons of the night before like a smooth mug of velvety coffee?
The title track streams below.Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again