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This review is from: Home Again (Audio CD)
Unlike most of the previous reviewers, this album is my only exposure to Michael Kiwanuka's music. Although I like it, I wouldn't describe it as a work that shows promise. Its strength is in its execution of some largely unremarkable songs.
Four tracks are outstanding. The first, 'Tell Me A Tale' sounds like something recorded about forty years ago, with its retro brass, woodwind and lightly swinging jazz inflection. The second, 'I'm Getting Ready', is wrapped in a warm, acoustic feel. 'Bones' feels as if it goes back to the fifties, with its brushes and gospel-like choir. This, I think, is also the most articulate lyric. Finally, 'Always Waiting' boasts a lovely melody.
Another plus point is Kiwanuka's vocal style. A comparison with Bill Withers is understandable; he has a feeling for soul bereft of the histrionics that have blighted most of the genre since Houston and Carey got hold of it. His voice, however, is much softer.
The rest of the album is better than average, but the material isn't. I was hoping to hear something a little more adventurous than the 'lonely without you' theme that dominates.
I certainly recommend 'Home Again', which isn't bad coming from someone who isn't really a soul fan, but I don't think the artist will improve on this unless he can throw the shackles off his songwriting.