. And the early 70s touchstones are now less the down-home minimalism of Bill Withers, and more the sweeping orchestrations of Marvin Gaye. So I was surprised to find his new album opening not with a typical gentle soul song, but rather an overture of almost Pink Floyd proportions. It is strictly forbidden to share links to albums via file sharing sites Zippyshare, Torrent, Kingdom Leaks etc. English singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka will finally release his second album in 2016. But it seems to run counter to the mood of the songs which - even more than those on Home Again - are almost the opposite of rock anthems.
With its emphasis on live and often acoustic sounds, the production had the flavour of early 70s soul, which seemed the natural setting for a young singer who evidently was an old soul. Kiwanuka's voice is sometimes overwhelmed by the size and scale of the arrangements, rather than playing to his strengths. White, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Burton, Bass Guitar, Organ, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Richard Pryce, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Guy Davie, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Danger Mouse , Producer - Kennie Takahashi, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Todd Monfalcone, Recording Engineer, Asst. Users who ignore this rule will be banned from the site. In other, quieter moments he just seems to be singing from a place of profound sorrow. It feels like a coming of age record, a musical maturation for this singer, who is already being hailed as one of the greatest voices around.
The same soulful tones that gave Kiwanuka such a broad following remain the focal point of the new album, as do the lilting melodies and baleful lyrics, but thanks to producers Dangermouse and Inflo, as well as a huge supporting cast of musicians, this album manages to throw the punch we were promised by the first. We know already that the first single is titled Black Man In A White World. Nevertheless, the overall quality of the record will undoubtedly make it a big winner this year. Beginning with a 9 minute, Pink Floyd inspired 'opus', the album feels expansive and varied. Its details will be revealed in next couple of days. They have grown more epic, though.
Love and Hate is available on Polydor Records. Overdone and overloaded, this second album has lost some of the immediacy and realness that made the first stand out. The video, directed by Hiro Murai, will be released on 29th March. Ranging from sweeping orchestral arrangements to melancholy introspections, this second effort seems more mature and measured, but remains a 'nearly' moment. These are songs of soul-searching introspection.
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