Review: Michael Kiwanuka – Home Again

 

Michael Kiwanuka is steadily on the rise after his acclaimed tour with Adele and his recent topping of BBC’s Sound of 2012 list. And it is not hard to imagine why he is receiving such high praise: Kiwanuka possesses a thick, nostalgic sound that is few and far between in a world of modern music.

Home Again is composed of three tracks: Home Again, Now I’m Seeing, and They Say I’m Doing Just Fine; and if you have heard him before, you will know what to expect. His EP is modern soul, with jazz undertones and a touch of folk. It is perfectly recorded, and illustrates that a great deal of care has been put into it’s creation, both by Kiwanuka and by producer Paul Butler, of The Bees fame.

If I was ever asked to describe the title track Home Again in five words or less, I would probably just mumble something about home cooked food and woods. It consists of smooth guitar picking and his pure vocals, which boldly stand out in front of the beautiful musicality. Whilst the second track, Now I’m Seeing, has a faster pace and definitely ups the ante. You can almost hear the smile on Kiwanuka’s face when he starts to get into the song, boasting feel good lyrics such as: “Before I didn’t know I could see it, now I’m seeing. Before I didn’t know I could be it, but now I’m being. Before I’ve been told don’t believe it, but I know that I’m home, I can feel it. Oh, when the day gets long I remember, I’m fine.”

The final song from Kiwanuka, They Say I’m Doing Just Fine, evokes an image of a slow dancing couple at a bar during the cool jazz age. His voice is amazingly raw in this track, and every note flows perfectly into the next. This is quite possibly the most captivating track on the record, as violins pull the EP to a gentle close.

It does need to be said that Home Again, as a whole, may need a few listens at first. Each of the tracks could each stand alone, and almost need to stand alone. Yet if you devote a piece of your day to Home Again, and nothing else, you will quickly feel the beauty and  unique quality of this record.

Home Again is everything you could want from an EP. The tracks are each simple and beautiful, and the craftsmanship that has been put into the entire record, is audibly stunning.

Kiwanuka’s debut album, also titled Home Again, is set for release on March 26th

Taylor Nugent