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Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again - Interscope

July, 2012 CD of the Month

There are some artists that just don’t act their age. And in the case of XPN Aritst To Watch Michael Kiwanuka, that's a good thing! The fact that this singer-songwriter is in his early 20’s will be the last thing to come to mind (if at all) when you make your way through his debut album Home Again. Kiwanuka is the latest in a wave of British soul and R&B singers to captivate audiences. And while connections to his peers like Adele exist, he paves his own path to our ears with the songs of Home Again.

Kiwanuka, himself, is from London while his parents are originally from Uganda. He studied music in school and eventually began work as a studio session guitarist. That’s before he tried his hand at performing on his own. In 2011, he released a couple EPs and his demand began to grow. He was requested to open shows for Adele on her 2011 tour, and followed in her footsteps winning the BBC Sound of 2012 Poll. The award acknowledges promising talent. And Kiwanuka is just that. The soulful set of songs that is Home Again is caressed with warmth that brings to mind greats like Otis Redding and Bill Withers. It's a hypnotizing experience listening to songs like "I'm Getting Ready" or "Home Again." Kiwanuka's gentle, thoughtful delivery is the big reason why, but also tip your cap to producer Paul Butler who sets the scene. And he does so beautifully. His carefully crafted orchestrations with delicate strings and tasteful backing vocals are the perfect complement to Kiwanuka's tender vocal touch.

There are artists who try to recreate classic soul music and then there are musicians who simply are soul music. Michael Kiwanuka firmly feels like the latter. Home Again features a number of songs from Michael’s original EPs, plus a few newer tunes. It all coalesces into the debut from an artist whose star seems destined to rise.

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