Michael Kiwanuka – Home Again//
Release Date: 12 March 2012
Label: Polydor UK
- Tell Me a Tale
- I’m Getting Ready
- I’ll Get Along [MV]
- Home Again
- Always Waiting [MV]
- I Won’t Lie
- Any Day Will Do Fine
- Worry Walks Beside Me
It’s almost as if someone heard my prayers out in the universe and bestowed upon me a precious gift. I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to hear something so entrenched in the soul that it’s unnerving. Michael Kiwanuka is an artist with a voice like it’s been pressed into old vinyl and a genuineness that I’ve been searching for in modern Soul music for quite some time.
His debut Home Again is a piece of magic that I believe most people need to wrap themselves in. To relegate it to the camp of cliché would be disrespectful. Home Again isn’t a breath of fresh air. No, it’s the air itself, so light and full of life that it can lift you away. It opens with a sound that reminds me of how the wind cracks in summer, the waves pulsing with heat, making you wonder how much longer you can keep your feet moving until you finally collapse. Tell Me a Tale is a song that’s sharp, resonant, and full of life. The album continues along the same vein of sonic perfection throughout.
It’s been said over and over again that his sound is reminiscent of the great Bill Withers, but to place him alongside Withers almost does Kiwanuka a disservice. His voice, while unfettered by the technology and immaturity of much of today’s so-called Soul music, is singular in that it aches and croons in a way completely different to Withers. While Withers’s voice is wrought with the struggle of his home life, Kiwanuka’s is full of soft purity.
On songs such as Rest and title track Home Again, you can feel his warmth fall over you, causing a tender sigh to emerge from within and leave you feeling complete. Tracks like Bones, Always Waiting, and Worry Walks Beside Me are so full of emotive Soul you wonder if this man was transported from the same flesh and blood of Sam Cooke. And yet his musicianship is completely uninhibited like he was possessed with the spirit of Jeff Buckley.
Truly, this may be the first album I’ve come across in a long time that’s as perfect as anything I’ve ever heard. Every track stands alone and yet blends so elegantly together that it’s rather astonishing. I look forward to what Mr. Kiwanuka has to offer us in the future. If it’s anything like his debut, I’m sure that his sound will stay with me for the rest of my life.