Review: Paolo Nutini, ‘Sunny Side Up’

Paolo Nutini, ‘Sunny Side Up’: Aidin Vaziri | Paolo Nutini sounded remarkably ripe for 19 when he released the soulful “These Streets” two years ago. Now his youth is beginning to show. “Sunny Side Up” is a restless, confused CD that sees the gravel-voiced Scottish singer-songwriter step – maybe even bolt – away from the mild-mannered, late-night musings of his first outing in favor of ska, reggae and cod swamp blues. Opener “Ten Out of Ten” sounds like a pale imitation of Bob Marley’s early work, and on “Pencil Full of Lead” Nutini makes like Louis Prima, putting on a ridiculous accent and singing, “Nothing’s going to bring me down!” A few tunes revive the endearing intimacy of his previous release – namely “Tricks of the Trade,” “Candy” and “Growing Up Beside You” – but in his haste to shed any comparisons to James Blunt, Nutini has thrown off most of the things that set him apart and helped him sell 2.3 million albums. Despite a clutch of lovely melodies, “Sunny Side Up” is too grating to endure. Even fans will find their patience slipping as Nutini’s lack of direction takes full hold.

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