Thursday, June 23, 2011
At this point, the last thing the world of popular music likely needs is another retro soul singer. There's been a run on that sort of thing the last few years, and for good reason, since soul music generally has an authenticity in feel that resonates with people. The catch is that most of the revivalist stuff just isn't all that original, grabbing on to big horns, funky rhythms, and passionate vocals, but none of the actual originality that artists like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield brought to music. Only time will tell whether 23 year old Londoner Michael Kiwanuka has artistic staying power, but at least his take on soul recalls early Van Morrison or Bill Withers, instead of the usual mimicked culprits. "Tell Me A Tale" is just a great song well performed, just like the best of the soul music everyone wants to emulate. It doesn't seem there's any way to purchase his debut EP in the United States quite yet, but at least you can replay the YouTube video a few times in a row like I have this morning.