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Michael Kiwanuka

Home Again (Interscope)

Reviewed by Thomas Fawcett, Fri., Oct. 12, 2012

ACL Music Fest Saturday Reviews

Michael Kiwanuka

Home Again (Interscope)

Home Again introduces Michael Kiwanuka as an enormously gifted UK songwriter and old soul in the body of a twentysomething Londoner. At its best, Kiwanuka's rich voice conveys a universality reminiscent of Bill Withers and Richie Havens, singing about nothing and everything all at once. Opener "Tell Me a Tale" sounds filtered through Instagram, as a stunning succession of flutes, strings, acoustic guitars, and Fela Kuti-styled horns ooze through a nostalgic folk resin. While Home Again rockets with infinite promise and closes on the moody brilliance of the Dan Auerbach-assisted "Lasan," the interim doesn't always clear that high bar. Having been culled together from three EPs previously released across the pond gives the disc an uneven pace that drags on the back half. Nevertheless, Michael Kiwanuka establishes himself here as the new torchbearer of soulful folk music. (4:30pm, Austin Ventures stage)

**.5

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