Paolo Nutini - Caustic Love
It's been a while since we heard from jovial Scot Paolo Nutini, five years to be precise since the five-time platinum Sunny Side Up. That album saw Nutini develop his rootsier side, a journey that continues on Caustic Love. Wrapping his versatile voice around funk, R&B and soul melodies, it's an experiment that sometimes works a treat, but falls down elsewhere.
Gorgeous torch song 'One Day' and the cool strut of 'Numpty' are where the album works best. The rich, bluesy textures of 'Looking For Something' pull things out from a mid-album slump, but many listeners won't even get that far. The silly 'Scream (Funk My Life Up)' and 'Let Me Down Easy' are as weak an opening as we've heard in a while and the tame Radio 1-friendly 'Fashion' isn't saved by Janelle Monae's ridiculous interlude. The definition of patchy, Caustic Love's scattershot approach means the few jewels within are overshadowed by too many genuine clangers.