– THE QUIET RIOT –
Michael Kiwanuka is back doing what he does best… releasing autumnal soundtracks that make you want to snuggle up next to a fire with those you love.
The British singer-songwriter, a household name following his previous LPs Home Again (2012) and Love & Hate (2016), has released his third record, Kiwanuka.
Light is the album’s soaring, celebratory final act.
There are some lovely acoustic videos of Kiwanuka performing this track on YouTube but I went with the generic image-video (against my usual instincts) because – for all their intimacy – those versions inherently miss what makes this song so stunningly brilliant.
Jointly produced by Inflo (Sault) and log-term collaborator Danger Mouse, Light’s cinematic strings are where the song is at its most affecting.
Lyrically, the song seems to hint at death – perhaps of a loved one or maybe even oneself / ego (“I had to lose to understand / Strung out from all this / Pour out a thousand tears / I never knew a kinder man”) but also demonstrates genuine hope and optimism (“Shine your light over me / All of my fears are gone / It don’t bother me / If it’s not meant to be”).
It is a beautiful way to see out the year.
Kiwanuka is available now through Polydor Records.
MORE FROM THIS WEEK’S MIX
P.S. You can find all of the tracks reviewed above in the 45 Revolutions per Minute playlist below or click to access the 45 RPM Playlist on Spotify itself.
If you like what you hear (or even if you don’t), please engage in dialogue with me @45rpm_Reviews on Twitter. And, if you’d like to receive updates weekly, please subscribe to the email list to get these recommendations sent to your inbox weekly.
– SV –