Kiwanuka (album)

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Kiwanuka
Michael Kiwanuka - Kiwanuka.png
Studio album by
Released1 November 2019 (2019-11-01)
GenreFolk, indie rock
Length51:13
Label
Producer
Michael Kiwanuka chronology
Love & Hate
(2016)
Kiwanuka
(2019)
Singles from Kiwanuka
  1. "You Ain't the Problem"
    Released: 13 August 2019
  2. "Hero"
    Released: 10 October 2019
  3. "Piano Joint (This Kind of Love)"
    Released: 16 October 2019
  4. "Light"
    Released: 19 June 2020
  5. "Rolling"
    Released: 2020

Kiwanuka is the third studio album by English singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka. It was released on 1 November 2019 through Polydor and Interscope Records.[1][2] The album won the 2020 Mercury Prize.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?8.5/10[4]
Metacritic89/100[5]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[6]
Chicago Tribune3.5/4 stars[7]
The Daily Telegraph5/5 stars[8]
The Guardian5/5 stars[9]
The Independent4/5 stars[10]
NME5/5 stars[11]
Pitchfork7.5/10[12]
Q5/5 stars[13]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[1]
The Times4/5 stars[14]

On the review aggregator website Metacritic, Kiwanuka has a score of 89 out of 100 based on 21 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[5] Aggregator AnyDecentMusic? gave it 8.5 out of 10, based on their assessment of the critical consensus.[4]

Dave Simpson of The Guardian hailed Kiwanuka as a "bold, expansive, heartfelt, sublime album" and one of the best of the decade,[9] while Dorian Lynskey of Q called it a "compassionate, career-defining masterpiece". In her review for NME, Elizabeth Aubrey highlighted the personal nature of its lyrics, commending it as "a daring leap of self-affirmation."[11] Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph described it as "an album in which a troubled spirit seeks the relief of music to mesmerising and charged effect."[15] In a year-end essay for Slate, Ann Powers cited Kiwanuka as proof that the format is not dead but rather undergoing a "metamorphosis", with artists such as Kiwnuka utilizing the concept album through the culturally-relevant autobiographical narratives, which in this case is a "song cycle alchemizing violence through compassion".[16]

The album won the Mercury Prize 2020. It was the third time in his career he had been nominated following nominations for Home Again and Love & Hate but the first time he had won.

Accolades[edit]

Publication List Rank Ref.
Afisha Daily (Russia) The Best Foreign Albums of 2019
6
Albumism The 50 Best Albums of 2019
6
AllMusic Best of 2019 N/A
American Songwriter Top 25 Albums (and 25 More That We Loved) of 2019 N/A
BBC Radio 6 Music Albums Of The Year 2019
3
Chicago Tribune Best rock-pop-rap albums of 2019
4
Clash Albums Of The Year 2019
9
Double J The 50 best albums of 2019
16
The Economist The best albums of 2019 N/A
Gigwise 51 Best Albums of 2019
5
God Is in the TV GIITTV Album Of The Year Poll Results 2019
2
Good Morning America 50 of the best albums of 2019
2
The Guardian The 50 best albums of 2019
12
Houston Chronicle Andrew Dansby's albums of 2019
6
The Independent The 50 best albums of 2019
18
The Line of Best Fit The Best Albums of 2019 Ranked
20
Mondo Sonoro (Spain) The best international albums of 2019
7
musicOMH Top 50 Albums Of 2019
4
The New York Times (Jon Pareles) Top 50 Albums Of 2019
8
NME The 50 best albums of 2019
8
No Ripcord The 50 Best Albums of 2019
11
PopMatters The 70 Best Albums of 2019
18
Under the Radar Top 100 Albums of 2019
34

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Michael Kiwanuka, Brian Burton, and Dean Josiah Cover.

Kiwanuka[40]
No.TitleLength
1."You Ain't the Problem"4:09
2."Rolling"2:51
3."I've Been Dazed"4:25
4."Piano Joint (This Kind of Love) (Intro)"2:18
5."Piano Joint (This Kind of Love)"3:51
6."Another Human Being"1:51
7."Living in Denial"3:31
8."Hero (Intro)"1:20
9."Hero"3:19
10."Hard to Say Goodbye"7:05
11."Final Days"4:10
12."Interlude (Loving the People)"2:42
13."Solid Ground"3:53
14."Light"5:48
Total length:51:13

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal.[40]

Musicians

  • Michael Kiwanuka – vocals (all tracks), acoustic guitar (1, 3, 8–10, 14), bass (1–5, 7–11, 13, 14), percussion (1), electric guitar (2–5, 7–11, 13, 14), keyboards (13), organ (13), piano (13), synthesizer (13)
  • Inflo – background vocals (1–5, 7–11, 13, 14), drums (1–5, 7–14), electric guitar (1), percussion (1–4), piano (1–5, 10–12, 14), vocals (2, 11), organ (2, 8, 9), synthesizer (2–5, 13, 14), keyboards (3, 4, 7), programming (4, 8)
  • Rosie Danvers – cello (1, 3, 8, 11, 14)
  • Kadeem Clarke – keyboards (1), synthesizer (1, 7, 11), piano (6, 10), Wurlitzer electric piano (11)
  • Danger Mouse – percussion and tambourine (1), electric guitar (3), programming (4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14), keyboards (7)
  • Nick Barr – viola (1, 5, 8, 11, 13, 14)
  • Natalia Bonner – violin (1, 3, 5, 8)
  • Zara Benyounes – violin (1, 5, 8, 13)
  • Alecia Chakour – background vocals (3, 10, 11)
  • James Casey – background vocals (3, 10, 11)
  • Dizzy Daniel Moorehead – saxophone (3, 10, 11)
  • Jasmine Muhammed – background vocals (3, 10, 11)
  • LaDonna Harley Peters – background vocals (3, 14)
  • Paul Boldeau – background vocals (3, 14)
  • Saundra Williams – background vocals (3, 10, 11)
  • Yolanda Greaves – background vocals (3, 14)
  • Bruce White – viola (3)
  • Anna Croad – violin (3, 10)
  • Patrick Kiernan – violin (3, 5, 10, 11, 14)
  • Sally Jackson – violin (3, 5, 10, 11, 14)
  • Stephanie Cavey – violin (3)
  • Steve Morris – violin (3, 5, 10, 11, 14)
  • Bryony James – cello (5, 11, 14)
  • Richard Pryce – double bass (5, 11, 14)
  • Jean Kelly – harp (5, 6, 10)
  • Emma Owens – viola (5, 10, 11, 14)
  • Fiona Leggat – viola (5, 10, 11, 14)
  • Deborah Widdup – violin (5, 10, 11, 14)
  • Eleanor Mathieson – violin (5, 10)
  • Ellie Stanford – violin (5, 11, 14)
  • Gillon Cameron – violin (5, 11, 14)
  • Hayley Pomfrett – violin (5, 11, 14)
  • Helen Hathorn – violin (5, 11, 14)
  • Kotono Sato – violin (5, 11, 14)
  • Chloe Vincent – flute (10)
  • Nathan Allen – percussion (10)
  • George Hogg – trumpet (10)
  • Jenny Sacha – violin (10, 13)
  • Sarah Sexton – violin (10)

Technical

  • Danger Mouse – producer
  • Inflo – producer (all tracks), mixer (4, 6, 12), recording engineer (12)
  • Matt Coltonmastering engineer
  • Richard Woodcraft – mixer (2, 3, 5, 8–11, 13, 14), assistant recording engineer (3), vocal engineer (7), recording engineer (8, 9)
  • Kennie Takahashi – recording engineer (1–5, 7–11, 13, 14), mixer (1, 7, 10)
  • Tom Campbell – recording engineer (4), assistant recording engineer (1–3, 5, 7–9, 11, 13, 14)

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[66] Gold 100,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bernstein, Jonathan (24 October 2019). "Michael Kiwanuka's Self-Titled Third Album is a Rich Psych-Soul Exploration". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  2. ^ Minsker, Evan (13 August 2019). "Michael Kiwanuka Announces New Album". Pitchfork. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  3. ^ "And the winner of the #HyundaiMercuryPrize 2020 is... @michaelkiwanuka's #KIWANUKA". Twitter. 24 September 2020. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Kiwanuka by Michael Kiwanuka reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Kiwanuka by Michael Kiwanuka Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  6. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Kiwanuka – Michael Kiwanuka". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  7. ^ Kot, Greg (1 November 2019). "Album review: Michael Kiwanuka is back bolder than ever with 'Kiwanuka'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  8. ^ McCormick, Neil (18 October 2019). "KIWANUKA, Michael Kiwanuka, review: a poignant interrogation of how much has changed since the civil rights era". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  9. ^ a b Simpson, Dave (1 November 2019). "Michael Kiwanuka: Kiwanuka review – one of the greatest albums of the decade". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  10. ^ Pollard, Alexandra (30 October 2019). "Michael Kiwanuka review: Defiant self-titled third album smudges the personal and political". The Independent. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  11. ^ a b Aubrey, Elizabeth (29 October 2019). "Michael Kiwanuka – 'KIWANUKA' review: brave experimentation and hard-won self-knowledge". NME. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  12. ^ Soto, Alfred (1 November 2019). "Michael Kiwanuka: Kiwanuka". Pitchfork. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  13. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (December 2019). "Healing Powers". Q (405): 104.
  14. ^ Hodgkinson, Will (1 November 2019). "Michael Kiwanuka: Kiwanuka review — a restless soul finally finds himself". The Times. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  15. ^ McCormick, Neil (18 October 2019). "KIWANUKA, Michael Kiwanuka, review: a poignant interrogation of how much has changed since the civil rights era". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  16. ^ Powers, Ann (17 December 2019). "The album is evolving". Slate. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  17. ^ Овчинников, Николай (26 December 2019). "Лучшие зарубежные альбомы 2019 года" [The Best Foreign Albums of 2019]. Afisha Daily. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
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  22. ^ Kot, Greg (3 December 2019). "Best rock-pop-rap albums of 2019: Fierceness from Jamila Woods, blast furnace sounds from Sturgill Simpson". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  23. ^ "Clash Albums Of The Year 2019". Clash. 18 December 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
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  25. ^ "The best albums of 2019". The Economist. 16 December 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  26. ^ "Gigwise's 51 Best Albums of 2019". Gigwise. 20 December 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  27. ^ Etheridge, Loz (17 December 2019). "GIITTV Album Of The Year Poll Results 2019". God Is in the TV. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  28. ^ Raible, Allan (26 December 2019). "50 of the best albums of 2019". Good Morning America. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  29. ^ "The 50 best albums of 2019: the full list". The Guardian. 20 December 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  30. ^ Dansby, Andrew (23 December 2019). "Andrew Dansby's albums of 2019". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  31. ^ "The 50 best albums of 2019 – from Tyler, the Creator's IGOR to Weyes Blood's Titanic Rising". The Independent. 20 December 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  32. ^ "The Best Albums of 2019 Ranked". The Line of Best Fit. 20 December 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  33. ^ "Los mejores discos internacionales de 2019" [The best international albums of 2019]. Mondo Sonoro. 3 December 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  34. ^ Hubbard, Michael (21 December 2019). "musicOMH's Top 50 Albums Of 2019". musicOMH. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
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  66. ^ "British album certifications – Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 27 November 2020.Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Kiwanuka in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.