You know how once in a while you come across an album by a newer artist that makes you want to listen to it over and over and over again? That is where I’m at right now. On first listen, I liked almost every tune and wanted to hear them again. I decided I love this album so much, that I would write a review of it for my friends in the hope of sharing that great feeling with you all.
The artist is Paolo Nutini and the album is “Caustic Love”. A little bit about Paolo. He’s a native of Scotland and Italian by blood. He landed a contract with Atlantic Records when he was 18 years old based on his incredible voice. The versatility of his voice is like no other. At different moments he sounds like Terrance Trent D’Arby, Bob Marley, Jim Morrison, Phillip Bailey, (Earth, Wind and Fire) and Leonard Cohen (in key). That is not to take anything away from Mr. Nutini, though, because his voice is unique in its own right.
It’s very well produced, and has a different feel than anything I’ve heard in a while, a very mature artist, who is now 28 years old.
The first cut, “Scream (Funk My Life Up)” is one of the best tunes I’ve heard in many years. Soulful, funky, funny, sexy….I can listen to it on repeat. The dude can sing. If you buy any of them on iTunes, get this one, if you like soul/funk with a touch of hip hop.
The second cut, “Let Me Down Easy”, is kind of haunting. It is a duet with a female singer Bettye Lavette, who had a hit with it in 1965.
“Bus Talk (Interlude)” is the third cut on the album and it’s a fun little short tune that will make you smile, I’m sure.
Next up is “One Day”, another love song, there are a few on this album…after all it IS called “Caustic Love”. The soulfulness of his voice really comes out in this one. To me, this has a very retro feel to it. Another one to buy, if you aren’t going to get the whole album. But really, just buy the whole thing, you may skip a few tunes that might not appeal to you, but it is worth every penny.
The fifth cut, “Numpty” is a really catchy song, probably my second favorite after “Scream”. It’s bouncy, makes you want to move and sway. So nice. Ahhhhhh….
Another interlude comes next, “Superfly”. It has a nice groove, but it’s way too short…I want it to go on and on. Come on Paolo, give us the extended mix, man. Great drums on this one.
The seventh cut is another love song of sorts called “Better Man”, very sweet and his voice takes on a whole new presence. It builds as it goes on, with a choir joining him towards the end. Another instant classic, you should probably buy this one too. :) The dude has soul.
“Iron Sky” is the next cut and is pretty deep, delving into some heavy subjects with a monologue built into it that I’m not sure where it is from or if it is original, maybe someone can help me out with that. There are some really sweet horns on this tune. His voice makes me weep at times.
The eighth cut is “Diana” and is another of my faves. Kind of a Motown feel in a way, catchy and sticks with you…I find myself singing it in my head quite a bit. Sometimes out loud, when I’m driving and no one can hear me. J
The ninth cut is another nice funky, upbeat, soulful tune featuring Janelle Monae, which adds a cool touch…a little rap for you. Again, the soul in his voice is just amazing.
The tenth cut is called “Looking for Something”, a slower tune that also showcases his versatility…yet another love tune with a lot of power.
Number eleven is “Cherry Blossom”, that has a Leonard Cohen feel to it, it’s probably my least favorite on the album, but I still don’t skip it. He has a grittiness in his voice and seems like he is channeling Jim Morrison.
The final cut on the album is a beautiful ballad, soft, and his voice is smooth and gentle. It’s called “Someone Like You”.
I hope that at least some of you will give it a listen and let me know what you think.
Just go buy it right now. I think I might listen to it again right now, what the hell.