Paolo Nutini - These Streets
They start them young up in Paisley. Signing to Atlantic just after his 18th birthday, there seems to be a lot riding on this fresh Scottish talent. Despite the Italian sounding name, Paolo Nutini comes from four generations of Paisley dwellers, his great-grandfather running the local fish and chip shop his parents now own. Paolo though has drifted down to London, and this self-penned album tells stories of life in Scotland and life in the city, a bitter sweet collection of songs.
With a top five hit under his belt with Last Request, the question must be - are there any more? Well, there are some fine songs on this album, top marks going to Rewind and Autumn, the former a lovelorn song of regret straight out of the Big Blunt Book, but with a lot more character. The latter is more tender, and is a very fine song indeed, elegant and full of passion.
Jenny Don't Be Hasty, the opening track, is a bit of a mixed bag though, full of rather clumsy lyrics and a half hearted effort to rock that falls a bit flat. Last Request, the current single, is good in that Radio 2 way, whilst title track These Streets is extremely good, soft, with plenty of soul, showing Paolo's ear for a tune and his gift in crafting skilful lyrics of imagery that help you feel the expression of the song.
Of the rest, its a mixed bag, ranging from up-pop in the likes of New Shoes to straight ballardry. For such a tender age, Paolo seems to have many experiences to draw upon, which really shines in his song-writing. Whilst maybe too bland for some peoples tastes, it is a cut above the likes of James Blunt and captures the state and passions of this young man well.