I hate to go all fan girl like I am about to, but I simply cannot
help myself. Paolo Nutini, a Scottish musician, rather famous in Europe though less known in the U.S., recently released a new EP previewing several songs from his new album, “Caustic Love.” In this reporter’s humble opinion, it is really nothing short of spectacular. In itself, the EP is different from Nutini’s other work, however, this is old news to folks who have followed his career—which began in 2006 with a relatively melancholic album, “These Streets,” and the conversely cheerful “Sunny Side Up.” Both albums showcased Nutini’s prowess as a songwriter, and allowed him to stage his vocals to a degree. However the new EP showcases, alongside excellent songwriting, a vocal power that Nutini had not yet showcased. The track Iron Sky, is the most incredible example of his naturally soulful voice and he compliments the track’s filthy baseline with many shouts and practically screamed verses. According to an article published by the Daily Record, the record sold 109,000 copies in its first seven days on shelves—making it the fastest selling album released this year. The Independent compared the 27-year-old’s voice to Joe Cocker, while Music OMH said Caustic Love was his ‘most consistent and adventurous set of songs yet.” According to BBC News, “It gives the Brit-nominated singer his second UK number one, following 2009’s Sunny Side Up — which also climbed back into the Top 40 this week.” In all, the album feels like a step in the right direction for Nutini—given that it is a step away from the acoustic sound of his past two albums, and earns him the title of soul singer. Further, while Nutini has addressed sexual themes in his past work, nothing has been quite as raunchy as bits of this album are. According to the National, “Caustic Love is Nutini’s ‘mature album’ and sets him up for a new phase of his promising career.” Helen Brown, a writer for the Telegraph, says of the song Scream (Funk My Life Up), “When I first heard this bluntly sexy, slightly silly song on the radio on an icy January morning, it made me want to wind the car windows down and will the summer on.” However, Brown goes on to say that Nutini should aim to settle into a single musical genre, instead of “skidding” around between the many that he has explored in this album, and ones past. I’m afraid I must disagree, given that Nutini’s most endearing characteristics is his versatility, and willingness to explore new territory. Indeed, Caustic Love would not be what it is if Nutini had stuck with just one musical style. Nutini plans on touring through most of Europe in 2014, however he will also be performing at San Francisco’s Outside Lands (a music festival) in August.