‘Home Again’ (Polydor)
To say Michael Kiwanuka’s debut is not the most modern-sounding album would be an elephant-sized understatement. Bruce Forsyth has jokes fresher than most of ‘Home Again’. Of course, a flair for retro-ism isn’t necessarily a negative – ask anyone from Adele to Yuck. The problem is that Kiwanuka is the UK tastemakers’ number one Sound Of 2012; he’s Captain Now, a shiny
box-fresh bastion of the modern day.
OK, given the context, ‘Home Again’ is something of a relic out of time, but we were hardly expecting him to dish out something the dark side of Factory Floor. It starts well, the singles ‘Tell Me A Tale’ and ‘I’m Getting Ready’ lilting to a lift off, while ‘I’ll Get Along’, with its Bacharach-esque fl ute, is so smooth it deserves to be enjoyed in tandem with a brandy, quilted smoking jacket and an uninterrupted panoramic view of the Alps. Across the ten tracks it dawdles a tad, the lush ache of Kiwanuka’s eiderdown voice just about pulling us out of a snooze-dive. Then again, Adele never got our pulses pounding either…
A trip down memory lane, then? More like a stroll down the long and winding road…