July 15, 2008
19-year old Scottish singer/songwriter Paolo Nutini sounds older than his years on his debut album, These Streets. It's not just his careworn, smooth-as-sandpaper voice, either (although, admittedly, it does help). It's more to do with the maturity of the lyrics, and the casual soulfulness of his delivery. "Last Request" is more the work of a vintage Motown singer than a teenager from Paisley, and it's to Nutini's credit that he carries it off with aplomb. And rather like the soul singers of previous generations, he manages to sing without a hint of hypocrisy about his own sexual exploits ("Jenny Don't Be Hasty") while also questioning his girlfriend's fidelity ("Alloway Grove"). It's the fact that he's so frank, and even a little bit naive, that he manages to get away with it. And though the stripped-down tunes on These Streets don't always immediately grab the listener (the title track, in particular), the songs where Nutini is accompanied by a full band often manage to evoke sunny-day American soul ("New Shoes", for example). This is a strong debut, and considering Paolo Nutini's tender years, bigger things can be expected of him in the future. --Ted Kord
I first heard about These Streets over here and here on Nan's blog. Speaking about New Shoes, Nan says, "It's a lose-your-blues, dance-around-the-kitchen kind of song. Just wonderful." After listening to it and a few other songs on his MySpace site, I couldn't agree more. I rarely buy cds anymore, so I was very happy to receive it from my daughter on Mother's Day. It's definitely one to own! I've had it for just over two months and I can't tell you how many times I've listened to it. Maybe 3-4 times a week. I love each and every track.
As I commented on Nan's blog, I think Paolo sounds a bit like Martin Sexton and Peter Himmelman. He has a soulful voice that I just love. I hope he releases a new album before I wear out the one I own!
Thank you, Nan, for sharing yet another great artist with me. I love the world of blogging. I may never have learned of this talented young man, had it not been for your post.