After winning the BBC Sound poll back in 2012, Michael Kiwanuka was set to be the next big thing in British music. Sadly the public didn't get behind him as much as the critics did and for a while we thought he had resigned himself to the ether. But the brilliant songwriter is back with his second studio album, and this time takes a more progressive and political charged direction.
There are very few artists that can get away with opening an album up with a 10-minute musical odyssey but I guess Kiwanuka can now join those ranks as the opener 'Cold Little Heart' sets the tone for the rest of the release, ultimately making the statement that this artist is not the same as you remember. The idea of a one-man-and-his-guitar seems so far from the sound of this record as Kiwanuka uses a range of new influences to create an album of real substance and depth.
Whether it is the social commentary of 'Black Man In A White World' or the longing felt on 'One More Night', this Danger Mouse-produced release surely trumps his debut release. Competent, authentic and progressive, 'Love & Hate' will go down as one of the best records of 2016.