So, I never took Paulo Nutini seriously. Oh I liked the catchy novelty of Pencil Full of Lead but I never considered him as a serious writer.
Last Night In The Bittersweet however has all my attention. I stuck Children Of The Stars and Shine A Light on a family travel playlist and was mesmerised by them particularly Shine A Light that has this late 60s psychedelic blues groove that I cannot get enough of.
The entire album indeed sounds like Nuntini’s Exile On Main Street sprawling to 16 songs of across genre and vibe. There’s that soul voice on the yearning Through The Echoes, there’s a nod to Irish contemporaries Fontaines DC on the spoken word Lose It. There’s 70’s New York new wave energies of Petrified In Love. Still in New York, there is the hypnotic near Velvet Underground heavy groove of Everywhere. Then there is Julianne, the beautiful piano ballad.
Nutini seems a thoughtful young man. He’s not claiming to have any answers but he seems to be keen to go deep in the questions. He declares himself in the final track, Writer, as some conduit to all our surmising. On these 16 tracks he does it so well.
I am your writer who bleeds indecision
Your lover, your waiter, your saddest addition
Your fighter, your taker, your old patience breaker
Your mover, your shaker
The one who can make you feel like a giant in the morning
And so little by noon
For sure drowning in the sunrise and you froze on the moon