Saturday 31 December 2016

My Favourite Albums of 2016: #5 Michael Kiwanuka - Love & Hate

Timeless. It’s the only word to describe Michael Kiwanuka’s second album Love & Hate. I'm, pretty sure I'll still be listening to this one in 10 years time.

Whereas his debut Home Again trod faithfully in the footsteps of the likes of Bill Withers and Otis Reading and sometimes found itself a little too much in homage to those past masters, Love & Hate sees Kiwanuka truly finding his own voice. The essence of the past is still there, but this time it’s as much informed by the present. Kiwanuka’s vocals soothe, even although his lyrics are often self doubting, angsty and questioning. The music is orchestrated and played with total assurance, creating a warm soulful spell. I doubt you’ll find many songs better than the near 10 minute long opener Cold Little Heart this year.

The BBC Sound of list is often criticised for being about acts that are over hyped and don’t match up to expectation in the longer term. Kiwanuka topped the 2012 Sound of list. This record is one of two in my end of year top 5 that shows that that criticism isn’t always justified.

Michael Kiwanuka - One More Night (Video)

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