Kiwanuka Image
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 36 Ratings

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  • Summary: The third full-length release for the indie singer-songwriter was produced by by Danger Mouse and Inflo.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Oct 22, 2019
    100
    Ultimately, this is an album in which a troubled spirit seeks the relief of music to mesmerising and charged effect. And that is timeless.
  2. 100
    This is an exceptionally compelling, absorbing, rich, and genuinely human piece of work.
  3. Nov 1, 2019
    100
    It sounds timeless and contemporary; the instrumental interludes and the stylistic and tempo shifts all hang together because of his warm, sincere vocals and fantastic songwriting.
  4. Nov 4, 2019
    88
    Songs melt into one another without losing their identities. Kiwanuka’s narrators drift through a world torn by violence and racism and find purpose. His voice remains plaintive, understated, deeply textured, but there’s a resolve that wasn’t as evident on his earlier work.
  5. 80
    The record is an introspective mix of psychey soul, blues, rock and funk, which skips and strolls and swaggers through its 13 tracks – but it is not simply an exercise in nostalgia. Its influences span decades; Gil Scott-Heron, Fela Kuti, Kendrick Lamar and Bobby Womack are all recalled.
  6. Mojo
    Oct 22, 2019
    80
    An album that's thoughtful, emotional, expertly crafted and often sublime. [Nov 2019, p.84]
  7. 60
    The only downside is that Kiwanuka could have been even braver.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Nov 10, 2019
    10
    Easily one of the best albums of this year. it grows on you with each listening. I guess his best album so far. the album has not onlyEasily one of the best albums of this year. it grows on you with each listening. I guess his best album so far. the album has not only melancholic and happy but also extravert and introvert moments. great production beyond question. Expand
  2. Nov 2, 2019
    10
    From the first track "You Aint The Problem"
    You will know that this is an album worth your lifetime. Even though LOVE & HATE was a
    From the first track "You Aint The Problem"
    You will know that this is an album worth your lifetime. Even though LOVE & HATE was a masterpiece, KIWANUKA is greater then its predecessor album.
    Definitely Top 3 album of the year
    Expand
  3. Nov 9, 2019
    10
    A stunningly sublime listen, best done in a single, uninterrupted sitting - or in my case, with headphones, in a dark, quiet place. TheA stunningly sublime listen, best done in a single, uninterrupted sitting - or in my case, with headphones, in a dark, quiet place. The interwoven tracks tell a modern tale, with such an interesting mix of styles and a 60-70s vibe throughout. Wah-wah guitars, clever background chatter, harps, violins, gospel choirs and psychedelic themes. All pulled together with Michael’s soft, soulful voice. I am seriously excited about this album. Not heard the likes for literally decades. For me, truly faultless. Expand
  4. Nov 1, 2019
    9
    Michael's greatest record to date. Touching, soulful and honest. Beautiful, heartbreaking record. Also one of the best releases this year.
  5. Nov 2, 2019
    9
    It's a beautiful album, and highly appropriate to the needs of these times in all respects.

    I'm giving it a 9 because it feels a bit
    It's a beautiful album, and highly appropriate to the needs of these times in all respects.

    I'm giving it a 9 because it feels a bit preachy instead of personal/emotional, but it gets the core of the emotional journey to peace of mind right. This is certainly Michael Kiwanuka's best album.

    Album of the year is between this and Ghosteen for me. I think this album is an easier listen but Ghosteen is more subtle in capturing the journey through grief and finding hope on the other side. Tough choice.
    Expand
  6. Nov 1, 2019
    7
    I love Michael . I was so hyped for this album after i saw the reviews . But in the end this was just an okay album . There wasn't any songI love Michael . I was so hyped for this album after i saw the reviews . But in the end this was just an okay album . There wasn't any song from this album that made me say "wow this is such a good song . But there also weren't any song which made me say "wow thid is a bad song ". In conclusion this album is just okay for me nothing else Expand
  7. Nov 2, 2019
    4
    I adored his sophomore album "Love & Hate", but "Kiwanuka" is too atmospheric and rather boring. Production and instrumentational arrangementsI adored his sophomore album "Love & Hate", but "Kiwanuka" is too atmospheric and rather boring. Production and instrumentational arrangements are nice, but the songs are idling, lamenting and not very strong. There's no real musical hook – and above all no emotion. Mr. Kiwanukas singing style was never very forcefull, but here it is especially frustrating, expressionless and bland. I'm sorry, but to me "Kiwanuka" sounds like a bad rip-off of "Love & Hate" without any inspiration. Expand

See all 10 User Reviews