Love & Hate
Michael Kiwanuka - Love & Hate
Critic Score
Based on 17 reviews
2016 Ratings: #29 / 721
Year End Rank: #40
User Score
Based on 168 ratings
2016 Ratings: #35
Your Review


A.V. Club
Both reflective and observational, he lays himself bare and vulnerable while turning a sharp lens onto society and managing to avoid predictable moralization.
The Line of Best Fit

As both a candid portrait of introspection and an exciting step forward with his musical talent, Michael Kiwanuka's Love and Hate beautifully captures the artistic power of vulnerability.

American Songwriter

It’s intimate and sprawling, personal and universal, affectionate and daring. It’s also not background music. Sit down in front of your largest speakers, turn up the volume, push play, close your eyes and let Michael Kiwanuka’s Love & Hate envelope your senses while taking you on a journey to the sonic expanses of your mind.

There are nods to the early ‘70s work of Curtis Mayfield and Isaac Hayes in these arrangements, comparisons that these songs are bold enough to withstand.

It admittedly spends a lot of time in a downer mode — a more light-amidst-the-dark feel would feel nice — but this sophomore effort remains affecting and affirming in its own quiet way.

Entertainment Weekly
British singer Michael Kiwanuka did more than just broaden his sound on his second album. He created a whole new musical hybrid: Spaghetti Western Soul.
Kiwanuka has made a fine record that will likely be enjoyed by those who currently find satisfaction in artists like Kendrick Lamar and Kamasi Washington.
While Adele, Ellie Goulding and Sam Smith have gone on to be bigger than the Brexit backlash, Kiwanuka has avoided becoming a household name. ‘Love & Hate’ could change all that.
The Guardian

Unlike his own debut, Love & Hate never feels like an album screwing its eyes shut and trying to make believe that it’s 1971. The retro affectations are bound up with stuff that sounds very modern.

With this release, Kiwanuka has delivered a dark, graceful, and affecting artistic statement that is worth the patience it takes to experience it.
This is a landmark album for a previously forgotten musician, an incredibly neat and satisfying collection of songs.

Kiwanuka’s talent reasserts itself on a broader canvas through 10 compelling compositions that chart the life and thoughts of a young man growing up fast and in public, all expressed in ways anyone can empathise with.

Slant Magazine
The resulting sound is prog soul with messages of incredible urgency at its heart, rendered by Kiwanuka and his band with emotion and grandeur. It makes for a weighty and dead-serious album, but it also mistakes the mere mention of exhaustive themes (abandonment, exclusion, regret) for an exploration of them.

Singer Michael Kiwanuka’s new album is a sprawling soul opus full of longing and self-assessment.  It's a bittersweet offering, growing more melancholy as it plays.

Jul 16, 2016
Willing to admit that I had never heard of this guy before. What a brilliant surprise this album was. It's a great fusion of classic soul with modern influences.
Jan 14, 2017
He goes for a more anthemic songwriting here that does wonders in some tracks. The consistent character of the album invites to immerse yourself in it. A calm, gracious tone confident about how relevant the message is. It feels modern, a step ahead in a genre that steps back maybe too often.
Nov 12, 2017
Jan 16, 2017
Soul, soul, soul, somehow reminding the 70ies but in a very modern and own way. An honest and moving album of a very gifted young man.
Dec 29, 2016
- attention / listenability = 8.5
- creativity / musicianship = 8
- consistency = 9.5
- recording (1/2) = 9
- feel factor (1/2) = 8.5
- overall = 86.8

Its not that its setting any new trends but the album by Michael excels at doing well for what he knows. Great songwriting and such a surprise find this year.
Track List
  1. Cold Little Heart
  2. Black Man in a White World
  3. Falling
  4. Place I Belong
  5. Love & Hate
  6. One More Night
  7. I'll Never Love
  8. Rule the World
  9. Father's Child
  10. The Final Frame

Added on: April 1, 2016