We’re glad to see the return of British soul crooner Michael Kiwanuka, who we covered upon the release of his debut album in 2012. The new album, of which this song is the title track, sees Kiwanuka growing more comfortable is who he is as a performer. While most songs stick to the 4-5 minute length, several songs stretch to 7, even almost 10 minutes in the case of “Cold Little Heart”. What’s nice with these is that he’s willing to let a musical idea build and not rush it for the sake of sticking with pre-conceived constraints. Kiwanuka is a decent, but not yet great, songwriter. Overall, it’s a solid album, mostly driven by the introspective, old-soul warmth of his voice, which is a special treat in its own right. It’s a very “throwback-y” sound in our digital age.
“Love & Hate” is my favorite groove on the album, and as such, I’m glad that he lets this beat keep on rocking.