Album review: Paolo Nutini - Caustic Love
13:19 15 April 2014
Like Howie B, Paolo Nutini is another Scotsman who’s spent half a decade perfecting his next release, and by this evidence, patience is a virtue.
There’s something about Caustic Love that channels the warm, communal spirit of R&B that Exile on Main Street captured so perfectly back in 1972.
The 27-year-old appears to have made sense of love since second record Sunny Side Up and his conclusions are delivered here in his most impassioned and soulful work yet.
Scream (Funk My Life Up) kickstarts proceedings with a rumbling bass and swagger reminiscent of 2007’s Good Shoes. Older and wiser now though, there’s even more smokiness to his unmistakable voice and he makes full used of it - later wailing on standout Iron Sky like a vintage soul singer.
The song rivals the best of Adele for dramatics, calling on foreboding trumpets and crushing piano chords as Nutini cries ‘And we’ll rise, over love, over hate’, before a passionate speech by Charlie Chaplin from ‘The Great Dictator’ sends it into full-blown cinematics.
Mumbled ballad Better Man cements the idea that Caustic Love shines brightest at its most intimate. Nutini reveals a newfound maturity and it suits him well.
Rating: Four stars
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