Love and Hate: Michael Kiwanuka

Not quite a year ago, Michael Kiwanuka released an album called “Love and Hate”, that in my opinion is a masterful presentation of his talent and the talent of the studio musicians and three producers who came together to bring such wonder into the world of music. I only discovered it recently while streaming a random channel. The song that stirred me from my work was “Rule the World”. I was mesmerised first by the backing vocals and Kiwanuka’s heartfelt pleading of lyrics that made me feel what I imagined he wanted to convey with such a powerful presentation. This song made me search out the whole album. I was hooked. Admittedly, I felt more love than hate listening to this album.

It was the best music-related decision I’ve made in quite some time. Some of the compositions and production remind me of a throwback to the late 60s (“Place I Belong”, Cold Little Heart”). The exceptional production that allowed the piano to just linger in the distance on “Cold Little Heart”rang of a Pink Floyd tune, “Great Gig in the Sky”. That familiarity just helped me feel so much more comfortable in settling into this album. I was pleasantly surprised to find the pace change with the borrowing of southern U.S. black gospel sound in “Black Man in a White World”. The significance of the reality of the lyrical content aside, it was an early energy peak to an album that has stayed true to Kiwanuka’s laid back approach to his albums.

This album serves a great base to use as the defining element of a playlist to chill with. I have listed below some tunes that I have been pairing this album with. Great for alone time.

Michael Kiwanuka and Friends: A Playlist

  • Cold Little Heart – Michael Kiwanuka
  • The Great Gig in the Sky – Pink Floyd
  • You’ve Got Nothing to Lose – Michael Kiwanuka
  • Carry Me Home – Hey Rosetta
  • Speedway – Counting Crows
  • Love and Hate – Michael Kiwanuka
  • Rule the World -Michael Kiwanuka
  • I’ve Got a Feeling – Beatles
  • Hey Joe – Jimi Hendrix
  • One More Try –Gregg Allman band
  • Trouble Man – Marvin Gaye
  • Goddamn Lonely Love – Drive By Truckers
  • Meet Me in The City – Black Keys
  • Falling –Michael Kiwanuka
  • Down by The River = Roy Buchanan
  • I’m a Soldier in the Army of the Lord – Lyle Lovett
  • Black Man in White World – Michael Kiwanuka


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