Paolo Nutini

Paolo Nutini

Caustic Love

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Paolo Nutini's second record, Sunny Side Up, topped the charts and sold 1.75 million copies in the UK but, to these ears, it was too restless, too keen to prove it could do anything - reggae, country, Celtic, jitterbug - to satisfy as an album. It did soar, however, when Nutini pitched himself as a soul boy somewhere between Rod Stewart and Sam Cooke on Coming Up Easy and No Other Way. Even those tracks, however, don't prepare the listener for how good Caustic Love is. Settled now on the soul style, this is a massive leap on to the international stage for Paisley's finest. Current single Scream (Funk My Life Up) raises a sweat like James Brown jamming with Primal Scream; One Day delivers on the potential that Amy Winehouse squandered and, by the chorus, sets Nutini shoulder to shoulder with Otis Redding. His control of the emotional charge of each song seems rooted in 1960s and 1970s soul itself, and is so far ahead of today's telly wannabes and urban showboaters that it's not even worth the comparison. A global star is born.

Alan Morrison