Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate

The new album from London’s Michael Kiwanuka, Love & Hate, is a unique and special gift of music in 2016 amongst the rest.

Michael Kiwanuka - Love & Hate

Love & Hate (2016)

Why?

Well for starters because Michael Kiwanuka’s super-soulful voice sounds like no other in the world. When you’ve heard it once it’s instantly recognisable as his voice the next and every time after. And there’s no other word for the sound of that voice except divine.

Also because unlike the shallow of much music today, Love & Hate’s lyrics are of substance and meaning – sung by Michael Kiwanuka with pure and honest emotion. Rife with feelings of doubt, despair, heartache and just the occasional flash of hope, they’re unlikely to evoke images of walking under blue skies and sunshine. But this is the stuff that makes up life; things we can all relate to at one time or another. The human condition will always involve some heartache, probably some doubt too.

But it most definitely should not involve racial inequalities. Not now. Not ever. But despicably, in fact it does. And despicably in fact it has done for a large part of human history. Love & Hate‘s second track “Black Man In A White World” is a much-needed reminder of both that shameful past and the shameful present. That these (and so many other) lyrics being written today is the truth for “black” men and women of the world is deeply tragic. Thankfully there are artists like Michael Kiwanuka singing about those injustices for everyone to hear and heed.

Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again

Love & Hate is special too because of its warmth of sound that cosily enwraps you. That warmth makes perfect sense considering Micahel Kiwanuka’s heavy use of analogue equipment and humans playing real drum kits, guitars, horns, violins, cellos, bass and piano which haven’t been unnecessarily “improved” [manipulated] through excessive production techniques (thanks to Dangermouse, Inflo & Paul Butler).

And finally, in what other soul music made in 2016 can you hear orchestral strings in its mix alongside wailing electric guitar sounds reminiscent of 1970’s Pink Floyd or Parliament-Funkadelic? Not many I’d guess.

Michael Kiwanuka is an incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist and artist. Love & Hate is a gorgeous sounding record and a rare and special musical gem in today’s world of music.

Check out these two sample tracks from the album. Remember they’re just compressed mp3-versions of all the sounds Michael Kiwanuka and his collaborators created. If you like what you hear thank them for creating this music and support them to make more by getting on down to your local record store to buy the album.

Michael Kiwanuka - Love & Hate

Love & Hate (2016)

“Black Man In A White World” –  Love & Hate

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“Rule The World” –  Love & Hate

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You can also get your hands on Michael Kiwanuka’s first studio album Home Again. Like Love & Hate, it’s full of musical blessings of the warm, soulful, old-school kind.

Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again

Home Again (2012)

“Home Again” – Michael Kiwanuka – Home Again

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And of course find yourself the ultimate Michael Kiwanuka experience at his upcoming live shows around the world.

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