ALBUM TITLE              :        LOVE HATE

ARTIST                           :        MICHAEL KIWANUKA

GENRE                            :        R AND B/ POP/ SOUL

DATE RELEASED          :        2016


With an album title like Love Hate, you would expect a very boring album; one dimensional song structure and poetic lyrics that only the singer can decipher what is it all about.  In this album, you will be in a lots of surprise as this is probably the album of the year; unless of course other celebrated performers would produce more quality albums later on.  Here is a track by track review of this record.

  • Cold Little Heart – started like a classical refrain with Mark Knopfler in mind as your lead guitarist. Towards the middle of the song, you will be surprised with the shift in melody and you felt like listening to Bob Dylan doing trip hop.

Watch live performance of this track here

  • Black Man In White World – based on the song title, listeners would expect a track full of angst and dwelling on the racist hate a black man received. Instead, this British singer chose to infuse the song with upbeat tempo and what you have is a celebration song about black man living in the white world.

Watch the video here

  • Falling – lush vocals, hypnotic musical arrangement, psychedelic vibes and it feels like a 60’s ballad.
  • Place I Belong – if Marvin Gaye had “What’s Going On?” Kiwanuka has this song that proves he is equally brilliant like Mr. Gaye.
  • Love Hate – this title track has that 70’s groove and you hope that Snoop Dogg will not sample this on his future track. Even with this kind of vibe, it did not diminish the anthem like quality of this track.

Watch the video here

  • One More Night – it is like merging country music with hip hop. Well, if Madonna was able to do unconventional fusion with country, EDM, and dance with “Don’tTell Me” so can this singer.

Listen to the audio version of this track here

  • I’ll Never Love – it is like listening to a black “Eric Clapton. Even the musical arrangement can be mistaken with “Tears In Heaven.”
  • Rule The World – you would think that this is the fly in the ointment but once you reach the middle of the song, you have a Barry White like sound minus the erotic aspect.
  • Father’s Child – do not expect a “Dance With My Father” like song in this track. The song becomes a very likeable song because of the lead guitar which did not wail but instead just introduced the next refrain.  The symphony background also delivered a certain innocent charm and you can really imagine a father and child walking along hand in hand.
  • The Final Frame – this track is like a summary of what is served in this album. It shows the Eric Clapton quality of some of his songs, the Bob Dylan wit in the lyrics, the Mark Knopfler guitar influence, Motown sound, Ottis Redding, and other celebrated black artist.

Listen to the audio version of this track

Definitely this album deserves a 5 star rating. Michael Kiwanuka will definitely give Adele and Beyonce a better run of their money for album of the year.


Ratings Description:

1 star = Ignore it

2 stars= risk it

3 stars = borrow or buy it

4 stars = buy it and keep it

5 = buy, keep, and treasure it


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