Home Again by Michael Kiwanuka on Apple Music

11 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Home Again is the accomplished debut by Londoner Michael Kiwanuka. Lush and mellow, the album blends acoustic folk and retro soul with jazzy embellishments. It’s an easy album to get into. The first track, “Tell Me a Tale,” opens with a brisk flurry of notes from a flute before acoustic guitar, bass, piano, and drums fall in. By the time Kiwanuka’s smooth, honey-rich voice rings out, you’re hooked. Joining later are horns, organ, and strings, making an organic template that’s used for the rest of the recording. Each song is well-crafted and carefully arranged, and they sound familiar and fresh all at once. “Bones” is a clever cross between countrypolitan and doo-wop. “Always Waiting” and “I Won’t Lie” are densely textured ballads, while “Rest” and the title track are sophisticated, laid-back pop tunes that would have worked on AM radio in the '70s and certainly work now. Even songs with world-weary lyrics, such as “Worry Walks Beside Me,” come across as more redemptive than downer thanks to the melody's easy flow. Home Again is a strong debut from an undeniable talent.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Home Again is the accomplished debut by Londoner Michael Kiwanuka. Lush and mellow, the album blends acoustic folk and retro soul with jazzy embellishments. It’s an easy album to get into. The first track, “Tell Me a Tale,” opens with a brisk flurry of notes from a flute before acoustic guitar, bass, piano, and drums fall in. By the time Kiwanuka’s smooth, honey-rich voice rings out, you’re hooked. Joining later are horns, organ, and strings, making an organic template that’s used for the rest of the recording. Each song is well-crafted and carefully arranged, and they sound familiar and fresh all at once. “Bones” is a clever cross between countrypolitan and doo-wop. “Always Waiting” and “I Won’t Lie” are densely textured ballads, while “Rest” and the title track are sophisticated, laid-back pop tunes that would have worked on AM radio in the '70s and certainly work now. Even songs with world-weary lyrics, such as “Worry Walks Beside Me,” come across as more redemptive than downer thanks to the melody's easy flow. Home Again is a strong debut from an undeniable talent.

TITLE TIME
4:12
2:24
3:28
3:52
3:32
3:48
4:31
4:03
3:40
4:57
4:38

About Michael Kiwanuka

With his acoustic blues-folk sound and timeless soulful voice, singer/songwriter Michael Kiwanuka has been favorably compared to Curtis Mayfield, Terry Callier, and Van Morrison. He was born in Muswell Hill, London in 1987, to Ugandan parents who had fled Idi Amin's regime in the '70s. He initially developed a love of rock music -- in particular, Radiohead and Nirvana -- and he performed in various cover bands while briefly studying jazz at the Royal Academy of Music and pop music at Westminster University. An outtake of Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" inspired him to take a more stripped-back approach. After performing as a session musician for former Bill Withers drummer James Gadson and Tinie Tempah producer Labrinth, he played on the capital's live circuit, where he was discovered by the Bees' Paul Butler, who invited him to record material at his Isle of Wight studio. After signing to Mumford & Sons' Communion label in 2011, he released two EPs, Tell Me a Tale and I'm Getting Ready, before supporting Adele on her U.K. tour. He finished third behind Emeli Sandé and Maverick Sabre on the Brits Critics Choice short list. A year later, he followed in the footsteps of Jessie J, Florence + the Machine, and Ellie Goulding when he was announced the winner of the prestigious BBC Sound of 2012 poll, and shortly thereafter released his debut single and album, both titled Home Again. After an extensive tour, Kiwanuka returned to the studio in 2015. Produced in part by Danger Mouse, his more experimental sophomore album, Love & Hate, was released by Polydor in the summer of 2016. ~ Jon O'Brien

  • ORIGIN
    London, England
  • BORN
    1987

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