Michael Kiwanuka: Home Again (Universal)

 |   |  <1 min read

Michael Kiwanuka: Rest
Michael Kiwanuka: Home Again (Universal)

London-born to Ugandan parents, Michael Kiwanuka has become something of a "next big thing" in the British music scene, but on the evidence of this quietly confident debut album he seems to vindicate the praise being heaped on him.

It's not just that he connects to the soul and spirit of Van Morrison's Astral Weeks (the Afro-horn influenced opener Tell Me a Tale), and a folk-soul take on Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding in reflective mood, but that the gentle orchestrations and arrangements support yet let his voice take front'n'centre.

And that voice seems to contain an almost unnatural amount of hurt and a battering by life -- he's only 24 -- which he either articulates (Always Waiting, Worry Walks Beside me) or sings of getting past (the lovely I'm Getting Ready, the title track). He also suggests rather than states (the hint of Motown/Stax on the finger-snap, lightly jazzy Bones).

Kiwanuka sings of the strength of faith in the subtle way Gaye used to, and in Rest he has a weary, modern day soul classic which sounds instantly familiar.

Because a similar mood prevails throughout the 10 tracks, opinion will be divided as to whether he needed to mix up the energy levels to stretch himself or that this works better for the soulful tone-poem quality.

Frankly, I think this is more impressive for being so lowkey, intimate and subtle.

Yep, his time is gonna come. Sooner rather than later, I think.

Like the sound of this? Then you should check out Otis Redding.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Curtis Harding; Soul Power (Warners)

Curtis Harding; Soul Power (Warners)

Back in early June we posted a review of this album under our ONE WE MISSED banner because it had appeared through the indie distributor Southbound the previous month. Well, seems everyone is... > Read more

North Mississippi Allstars: Hernando (Songs of the South)

North Mississippi Allstars: Hernando (Songs of the South)

These Allstars aren't really, but two of them are the sons of the great James Luther Dickinson whose last album was one of the Best of Elsewhere 2007: a swirling implosion of country, psychedelic... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE RAINFOREST WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL (2014): A tale of two events

THE RAINFOREST WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL (2014): A tale of two events

Every music festival likes to think of itself as unique, and by definition it is. The location and cultural context – which create the ambience – as well as the different roster of... > Read more

Quick Red Pepper Dip

Quick Red Pepper Dip

This is one of the best ways to get kids to eat vegetables - you'll have to be in quick if you want a bite! Ready in 25 minutes, serves six. INGREDIENTS 1 red pepper 1/2 Tbsp chopped... > Read more