Love & Hate image

Love & Hate

2016, 10 tracks, 51 mins 48 sec


Feb 01, 2019

Michael Kiwanuka Takes Us On A Melancholic Descent, To The Bottom Of Album “Love & Hate”

I found Michael Kiwanuka’s 2012 studio album Home Again to be a pitch-perfect blast from the past, as it not only possessed lo fi, dusty tape to tape sound, but orchestrations so classic, it was indistinguishable from the real sixties thing. Plenty of music was memorable on that trip, yet at the time, I would not have wanted him to continue on in this same mold for the next album. Years went by – perhaps too many, as I had missed his even grander 2016 album effort, Love & Hate, until recently. I was shook to the core by the deeper quality of this album, because, even though it was completely old fashioned, it developed into a more jazzy, haunting, and important piece of work. Lucky for me, it was a fantastic case of ‘better late than never’, and whether I had stumbled upon a long last classic from 2016, or 1966, the originality of this music would still blow my mind – especially in a modern world where artists, chiefly from the UK, are the premier purveyors of American Sixties Soul, yet all too often, reproduce the same formulaic progressions, instrumentation’s, and recording techniques – without elevating the actual music itself. How many times will British artists do the same Doo Wop number re-popularized by Amy Winehouse? Not here with the multi-talented and open minded Michael Kiwanuka. Borrowing from the past styles of several seminal artists, Kiwanuka is wise enough to write new pieces as if he was himself a sixties artist trying to invent something new with the tools, sounds, and styles available within the sandbox of that era.

Written by @taylor
Feb 01, 2019

Michael Kiwanuka’s Love & Hate Gives Us A Somber Reminder That Our World Is Broken

It’s no secret that the Soul side of the R&B music industry has been severely lacking in the last two decades, rendered to little more than a niche market for fledgling R&B acts – typically from the UK – to stretch their wings as they prove through Neo Soul songwriting that they’re worth paying attention to in an increasingly electronic-oriented market. For the most part, Soul music doesn’t even exist anymore: Acts like Leon Bridges, Mayer Hawthorne & the quite-often overlooked Ben L’Oncle Soul try their best to keep the scene alive, delivering incredibly catchy love songs & impeccably-written breakups tunes you can really get your groove on to, but they focus so heavily on the fun-loving dance aspects of the subgenre that you lose a lot of what made it so captivating a sound to begin with – The actual soul part of the equation. The inherent sadness of Soul & Blues Rock music once drove societal progression, the medium used as a means of expressing the true struggles your fellow man was facing on the other side of the world, but it would seem this focus is nowhere to be found nowadays, with modern Alternative R&B musicians far more concerned with scoring the most chicks they can at a strip club & hopping on whatever new dance craze there is, completely oblivious to the racial & economic equality happening all around – That is, until Michael Kiwanuka came around, placing the Hubble telescope on social issues & lighting the flames of revolution as best he could with the melodic tools presented of him. It may be a bit cliché to say, but he & his record Love & Hate a truly world-changing records with the power to reshape the lives of many; It’s just a shame the people who needed to hear it simply didn’t.




Album Info

"Love & Hate"


  • Jul 15, 2016


  • R&B


  • Polydor (UK)Interscope (US)


  • Danger Mouse, Inflo, Paul Butler


Love & Hate is the second studio album by London-based singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka. The album was released on 15 July 2016 by Polydor Records (UK) and Interscope Records (US).
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