- Audio CD (12 Mar. 2012)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Polydor
- ASIN: B005MYWZIO
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,999 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Home Again CD
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Debut album from London singer-songwriter and winner of the prestigious BBC Sound of 2012 prize, who has supported Adele in concert and whose voice has been compared to the likes of Bill Withers.
Earlier this year Michael Kiwanuka saw off tasty competition from hot tips Frank Ocean and Azealia Banks to be named the BBC’s Sound of 2012 winner by a panel of critics who clearly saw greater long-term potential in the London-born singer-songwriter than in his more obviously hip rivals. If they're minded to, Ocean and Banks have a right to feel aggrieved – the critics were 40 years out. Kiwanuka couldn't be more Sound of 1972 if he was teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony.
This isn't pejorative. It's not as if Kiwanuka is weeping salt tears over his Puppy Love or co-opting the Pipes and Drums and Military Band of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. He's got taste. He's "getting it together in the country" with Steve Winwood and Traffic, or beachcombing with Terry Callier, because Home Again is a folk/soul album, warm and understated with a breath of psychedelia. It might not heave with originality, but it's run through with a faith and sincerity that just about overpowers reservations.
And faith is a big thing for Kiwanuka, who peppers I'm Getting Ready – relaxed and summery like early solo Paul Simon – with calls to the Lord, and makes deep promises to his brother man on the gospel-soaked I Won't Lie. Even the less obviously devotional stuff like the slow-burn blues of Worry Walks Beside Me, the Moondance-era Van Morrison of Rest or the mariachi jazz of Always Waiting has the feel of a kind of pilgrimage – Kiwanuka is perpetually on the hunt for something, peace of mind, relief, the return home.
Produced by The Bees' Paul Butler, the album betrays hints of the Isle of Wight analogue dandies' free spirit in its more abandoned moments. Opener Tell Me a Tale is a glorious combination of fluttering jazz flute and Tempations swing, while I'll Get Along – with its nifty, crystal guitar and louche handclaps – is a quiet riot.
But all this spiralling through folk, soul and jazz settles on Kiwanuka's voice, a rich, weathered instrument that appears to carry more than 24 years' experience. If the occasional song is man-and-guitar by numbers, he's got the cords to conjure a bit of depth, whatever the decade.
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Top Customer Reviews
Anyway, having spent the last week with Michael (figuratively speaking) I am glad to say that I'm very, very impressed. There has been real attention to detail when it comes to creating a collection of songs that would sit happily alongside a number of classic early 70's soul albums.
Its clear right from opening the CD case that Michael Kiwanuka's 'Home Again' album is heavily influenced by classic soul; the case has been put together to look remarkably like a record sleeve and is peppered with photos that feel like they were shot in the same era. Thankfully this attention to detail and homage to soul legends like Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye etc. extends beyond the artwork and straight into the music.
The opening track 'Tell me a Tale' is a gorgeous song full strings and a smattering of horns that could have come straight from a Curtis Mayfield tune. Though still has a unique sound of its own, instrumentation is perfect. Michael Kiwanuka's vocal delivery brings Marvin Gaye to mind, smooth and soulful, with just an edge of pain and suffering.
Highlights come thick and fast through the early tracks. Notably, the third song 'I'll get Along' has a beautiful melody and the vocal is marvellously supported by the fluttering of flutes that is very reminiscent of Bill Withers.Read more ›
For me its a very spiritual album but not a religious one and this I discovered when I was listening to it. I did not buy it
because I was looking for the spiritual, I bought it because I recognised something beautiful.
I recommend this CD to anyone who needs or wants to take time out to be still and soothed.....this will do it for you:)
I listened to a lot of these songs on youtube, before the album was released so I knew what to expect. A lovely slow burning album wrapped up in his soft, subtle voice. Music to while an evening away with loved ones.
I look forward to more from Mr Kiwanuka.
Michael next time you are in the studio make sure you get a far better producer and engineer, you deserve much better than this. I truly hope that others appreciate your talent - truly a rising star.
This is an album that stands out because every track sounds complete. Often we will hear songs that fall short of their mark or fail to even identify a mark, but not a single song on here faces either of those problems. Songs like title track 'Home Again' show Kiwanuka's ability to craft a well-rounded song that reach a climax and then gently come back down to a mellow ending. Others, such as 'Rest' and 'Always Waiting' show a gentler approach - one that leads to a track of transcendental beauty from start to finish.
'I'll Get Along' deserves a special mention as one of the standout tracks. Characterised by breezy instrumentation and a melody that floats gracefully upon it, it stands out as one of the more accessible songs on the album. This track is the feel-good sound of summer 2012.
The only quibble with this album is the order of the tracks. Some songs feel a bit out-of-place and as if they should be elsewhere in the tracklisting. Plodding ballad-esque song 'Rest' is the best example of this, being the fourth track when it should ideally be much later. However, this does little to stop the flow of the album in the slightest.
Though this album will mostly appeal to afficionados of acoustic folk and soul music, it does have tracks of merit to a wider audience. These tracks, such as 'I'm Getting Ready' and 'I'll Get Along', have an accessible enough sound that they could break the mainstream.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So good we have bought tickets to see Michael live in London.Published 9 days ago by Mrs. S. J. Hill
I heard on song on the tv as I was buying something else on Amazon and I thought 'why not'. I am so please that I did buy it. He has an amazing voice. The tracks are stunning!!!Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
Some solid songs and nice arrangements. It wanes in a few places for me. Love the first track & bought it primarily for this.Published 1 month ago by Secret squirrel
An enchanting mix of rhythms and vocal skills which makes for a very different and immensely appealing collection of songs.Published 4 months ago by Keith John