Album Review: Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again

4 June 2012 | 7:32 pm | Dylan Stewart

Home Again makes an excellent accompaniment for all seasons.

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If you want to know what liquid caramel sounds like, your answer lies here. British soul singer Michael Kiwanuka and his debut LP, Home Again, will take you to the glory days of Otis Redding and Van Morrison. Rich, full arrangements contrast with sparse acoustic numbers across the album's ten tracks, all the while providing a velvety smooth base from which Kiwanuka's rich voice ascends. The record is steeped in smoky jazz (Tell Me A Tale) and love songs (album highlights I'm Getting Ready and Home Again), and – courtesy of producer Paul Butler – sounds as though it's being played through a scratchy record player from decades ago.

Home Again is an accessible album, one that will appeal to a wide range of music lovers. The definitive sense of nostalgia that prevails will have 'the older crowd' drift down memory lane, while alternative, independent music lovers will see Kiwanuka as a refreshing voice compared with many of the exaggerated artists of today. The pop scene, however, is where Kiwanuka's popularity could explode. Having taken out the very mainstream BBC Sound Of 2012 award (previous winners include Adele, Mika, Corinne Bailey Rae and, umm, Keane), Kiwanuka has played the iTunes Festival in the UK, toured extensively with Adele and can currently be heard on any Packed To The Rafters commercial.

Perfect for dinner parties, Sunday drives or relaxing by the fire with a smooth glass of single malt whiskey, Home Again makes an excellent accompaniment for all seasons. Kiwanuka breaks no moulds lyrically, but with a voice as golden as his, he could recite The Communist Manifesto and people would still pay good money to hear him.