Album Review : Caustic Love
Artist : Paolo Nutini
Genre : Rock
He is one of those artists who is popular only in Europe but has yet to make it big in the other side of the Atlantic. It is quite sad when Paolo Nutini is better compared with similar artist popular in the U.S. He has a vocal ability that can wail like Steve Tyler, or can rap like the other singer of Red Hot Chili Pepper, or as smooth as the lead singer of Soul Asylum. Thus, the first song in this album “Scream (Funk My Life Up)” has him crooning as if all mentioned singers were part of the song. And you think those are the only voices that he can mimic easily. The second song “Let Me Down Easy” will trigger your imagination and think that it was Smokey Robinson singing the song. Packed with female background vocal that is similar with Diana Ross, you might believe that he is not a rock artist.
Watch official video of “Scream (Funk My Life Up) in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZswz64dFlw.
“Bus Talk” is more like an in between song to suggest a shift in style. “One Day” has him singing as if he was a contemporary of Sinatra, Darin, and Martin. The kind of song that can make you pictures when elegance in a song is a requirement. “Numpty” has this Bee Gees feel while they were still a hit in England and element of guitar playing similar with that of The Who commonly heard on their stripped down songs. “Superfly” is a title that is associated with rap and hip hop thus, you find the song infused with vibe usually found in this music genre. It is another in between song break to alert listeners of a shift in mood.
Watch live performance of “Numpty” here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4-cG0S-7qk.
The next song “Better Man” is more like an unplugged version with only drum and guitar as musical accompaniment to suit the sad mood of the song. “Iron Sky” is another slow song in the league with the former song. Again, he mimic another sixties voice her, you can tell that he pattern his vocal exercise with Sam Cooke here. By the time you reach “Diana,” you feel confused and ask what is trip hop and ambient music doing in this rock album. Maybe his reason is that he doesn’t want people to think about Paul Anka’s similarly titled song or with that of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana.” However, the horn background will make you think of Lady Diana in this song.
Watch “Diana” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR2E9glt7Hg.
Finally in “Fashion” you have a rock song. It has good guitar progression and adlib, reminds you of old Beatles and Rolling Stone stuff. In “Looking For Something,” symphony and guitar are lumped together to create a solemn mood. The guitar adlib suits well in creating acapela like rendition of this song. He sings the song complete with pleading vocals. “Cherry Blossom” is an upbeat song that can be likened with some of David Bowie’s eclectic songs. Even the vocals are somewhat similar. He ended the album with a quiet song “Someone Like You.” Yes, think of Adele, but this is rather a remake of an old song. Thus, you have an unexpected Ray Conniff treatment.
This is an engaging album for those who wants to be familiar with this singer. All songs (even the in between songs) are quite pleasant to listen. It has no pretension of preaching something or trying to impress listeners with his singing prowess. It is the kind of record that you just want to listen and relive some stress or clear your mind with bothers. I rate this album 4 stars out of 5 stars.