Michael Kiwanuka – Home Again [album review]

by Woody on August 24, 2012

I loved the movie Dead Presidents by The Hughes Brothers. In addition to the gripping and horrifying story, the soundtrack was aces. Curtis Mayfield, Issac Hayes and Al Green to name a few. In listening to the much-hyped Home Again for the first time that movie popped into my head as Kiwanuka crooned on his debut. On top of those names, if Otis Redding doesn’t pop into your mind, then you should listen to more Otis.

Kiwanuka has crafted an album that sounds like it should have the crackling of vinyl throughout with his timeless vocals that sound effortless. Manning the board is Paul Butler of The Bees, and he’s done a nice job with the arrangements in adding to Kiwanuka’s voice and not overdoing it.

On Bones, Kiwanuka sounds like he should be singing in front of a bandbox sporting a tux and pompadour. If you closed your eyes, it is easy to envision him singing this on The Ed Sullivan show. It does a wonderful job of creating a 50s vibe but without making it seem hokey or fake.

Contrast that with the title track where Kiwanuka begins with just him and an acoustic, as if he is sitting on stool singing to no one in particular. After the first verse, the tune is fleshed out but weirdly its barely noticeable during the first couple of listens as I was so wrapped up in Kiwanuka’s voice.

Apparently Kiwanuka did some session guitar work for some trite pop crap. Being free of that must be thanks enough but Kiwanuka has crafted a great debut but we’ve only scratched the surface here. The kid may sound like he’s 55 and putting out a comeback album but in reality he’s 24. And if all that isn’t enough, he knocked out a tune with Dan Auerbach and covered Waterfall by Hendrix. The future is bright indeed.

Michael Kiwanuka & Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) – “Lasan” by MichaelKiwanuka

Home Again by MichaelKiwanuka

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John Cathal O'Brien August 28, 2012 at 4:13 am

quinn deveaux too!!

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