Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Home Again by Michael Kiwanuka

by George Neame

Questions have been asked about upcoming soul star Michael Kiwanuka ever since he was shortlisted for the BBC’s Sound of 2012 award. Ever since he won, however, he has been added to a select group of artists destined for fame and fortune, simply for winning the award. The BBC’s Sound of… award having become such a self-fulfilling prophecy in recent years, it is unsurprising that Kiwanuka is expected to mirror the success of Adele who, only four years after winning the award herself in 2008, has become arguably the biggest female star on Earth. Whilst Home Again is a very moving album with impressive vocals and several catchy tunes, it at times seems to lack that spark that characterised Adele’s debut album, 19.Tell Me a Tale features memorable violin sections and an upbeat hook andI’m Getting Ready is a beautiful, calming melody, almost reminiscent of classic 1970s American soul. The songs mix instruments and vocals nicely and there are some genuinely enjoyable sounds that sometimes put a smile on your face and sometimes send a shiver down your spine. Despite this, the feeling can’t be helped that once the novelty of a decent British male soul singer has worn off, Kiwanuka will be relatively forgotten, many songs on the album sounding too similar and becoming tiresome after the first listen or two.

Star Rating: ***

Next week: Sonik Kicks by Paul Weller

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