Caustic Love Review – Thom Jurek, Rovi

Caustic Love is the first album of new material from multi-platinum singer and songwriter Paolo Nutini since 2009’s Sunny Side Up. On that album, the whiskey-voiced Scot explored retro-soul and R&B piecemeal, weaving them into his pop palette. In the interim, the 27-year-old has been soaking up the soul and funk sounds of Motown, Atlantic, Stax, vintage New Orleans, Daptone funk, and more.Co-produced by the artist with engineer Dani Castelar, Caustic Love was recorded with a large band in Glasgow, Valencia, London, and New York. Its songs, drenched in libidinal energy, are framed inside a sound that’s gritty yet sonically rangey.

“Scream (Funk My Life Up)” evokes the psychedelic funk of the Temptations. Its reverb, breaking snares, fat basslines, chunky guitars, churning vamp, and crisp horns buoy a vocal that oozes sexual desire. “Let Me Down Easy” places Nutini in a midtempo duet with a Bettye LaVette vocal sample; he does his best Marvin Gaye to match her emotion. “One Day” recalls “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” layered with strings, rumbling percussion, furious bass, with an eerie spooky B-3 a la “Good Vibrations,” and a female backing chorus, and offers a nod to Sam Cooke; Nutini’s vocal soars between crooning and growling.

“Numpty” owes a debt to songwriter Allen Toussaint and singer Lee Dorsey for using the melody in “Working in the Coal Mine.” “Better Man,” the album’s hinge-piece, is one of the few tunes here that showcases Nutini as an emotionally intuitive singer/songwriter. It suggests the hungry Caledonian soul of the young Van Morrison, illustrated with a large female backing chorus, acoustic and electric guitars, and a knot-tight rhythm section. Single “Iron Sky,” is an indictment of religious institutions as systems of control; it contains bluesy, slippery psych-funk and unfolds gradually, gathering steam with big brassy horns and crashing cymbals framing the singer’s dramatic delivery and contains an extended sample from Charlie Chaplin’s monologue from the Great Dictator.

“Fashion” is greasy funk with Janelle Monae adding a fiery feminist rap to the middle. “Looking for Something” pays homage to D’Angelo’s nocturnal g-funk soul. “Cherry Blossom” is a lusty psych rocker with a guitar riff that suggests the Cult’s Billy Duffy, while the mix recalls Echo & the Bunnymen in the late ’80s. Closer “Someone Like You” finds the singer accompanied only by a bass in a Dion-esque early rock & roll ballad, though a stacked set of Beach Boys-style harmonies in chorale style floats in before a harp whispers it out.

Caustic Love is all about vintage sounds; its fine songs and provocative mix pay service to that stunning voice. While this set uses retro styles almost excessively, it is a thoroughly contemporary pop record in approach and execution. It takes real nerve to pull something like this off, but Nutini’s swagger is easily matched by the quality of the material and his inspired performance.

~ Thom Jurek, Rovi

CAUSTIC LOVE – U.S. Release Date! It’s here!

Is everybody ready?

CAUSTIC LOVE is now finally available for purchase in the UNITED STATES, and the amazing Paolo Nutini and the Vipers are back to perform gigs across the country over the course of the next month!

Make sure to grab your physical copy of the CD and catch out a show near you! It’s not too late to get tickets! http://www.paolonutini.com/splash/caustic-love-us

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Paolo Nutini Returns to Music After Years of Self-Discovery

ELLE
SEPTEMBER 15 3:00 PM
DAN HYMAN | CULTURE NEWS

In 2010, following the release of his sophomore album Sunny Side Up, 23-year-old Paolo Nutini took stock of his life. Since age 16, he’d been writing music, touring, building his own celebrity…and pretty much nothing else. “There was a real sense of self-absorbance,” the soulful crooner says. While his record label hounded him for another hit track, preferably one similar to his 2007 breakout single “New Shoes,” endless streams of yes-men enabled him and confused him. It just didn’t feel right. “I remember looking at pictures of myself, and I was airbrushed within an inch of my sexuality,” he adds. “I didn’t even recognize who the fuck I was.”

For Nutini, this revelation inspired him to take a lengthy break from music. Over the past few years, the shaggy-haired singer traveled extensively, wrote poetry and, for the first time in his life, felt it necessary to learn basic survival skills. “I started to learn some common sense,” he says. “Even just sort of day-to-day things. I started to cook a little bit more and try to learn to fix things around the house. If something breaks down, rather than call a guy, there’s got to be more I can do.”

Not surprisingly, however, it wasn’t long before Nutini felt the itch to write music. It’s a practice, he said, that still gives him the most poignant insight into himself. “I’ve always found that I can [express myself] much more honestly and better through my music,” Nutini says. “So for me, it’s almost like I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s become part of my personality.” Cue Caustic Love, Nutini’s third studio album, which is out tomorrow. It’s perhaps his most soul-baring effort yet.

Beneath the funk-strewn licks of “Scream (Funk My Life Up)” and the boogie groove of the Janelle Monae-featuring “Fashion,” Nutini’s new album is a lay-it-bare confessional. For the 27-year-old Scotsman, music has long been the preferred vessel for looking inward. “My songwriting… it’s almost like a kind of self-therapy,” he says. “In the sense that I think that one of the things about my songs is that I quite heavily acknowledge my faults. And the acknowledgment of one another’s faults is the highest duty imposed by our love of truth.”

When he casts his gaze outward, however, Nutini proves even more effective. On the Caustic Love centerpiece “Iron Sky” (complemented by a disturbing, thought-provoking music video directed by Daniel Wolfe), the singer challenges a world marked by gross income and class disparity to check its pulse. “To make [the world] work, to make everything better, it’s gonna take the people who hold themselves so highly above everybody else to come back to our level,” he offers. “And to the people who feel that they’re so far below everybody else to realize they really aren’t. There’s a place in the middle that we can all meet.”

Though, make no mistake: Nutini doesn’t believe himself any more enlightened than the next man. In fact, he shudders at the idea that a musician should be so narcissistic to believe he or she can pass judgment on others. “I’m not one to go down that road to say I have some kind of social consciousness,” he explains. “I think some people have done that and done that well: Like [John] Lennon and [Bob] Dylan, amongst others. But then you get, like, a Bono, for instance.”

“I was really off-kilt before,” he says of the pressing desire to now make peace with his outsize career and public persona, and simultaneously focus on finding the simple joys in life. “But I think things are aligning themselves quite well. That’s coming to me in various ways: I met a woman a month ago, and she’s one of the most amazing women I’ve ever met. Things are happening on the surface, below the surface, that are helping me be a bit more happy. It’s kind of what you have to do. You only have one vessel. You’ve got to make your peace with it.”

Diana – Official Video

Well, it’s here and it’s ABSOLUTELY ASTOUNDING.    I’ve got to say this video floored us.  So while I could go on and on and on, I won’t.  Just watch it.  We can’t embed it yet, as hungertv.com has the exclusive rights at the moment, but here’s THE LINK.

 

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This is what it says on their site:

Paolo Nutini has had quite a year. Following a five year hiatus, this April saw the release of his comeback album, the powerful “Caustic Love”, which received critical acclaim across the board and put Paolo firmly back on the map as one of our most celebrated British musicians. And for good reason, few others today can match his candid songwriting and raw, rasping talent. And to top it off, Paolo is not afraid to speak his mind, and it was exactly this frank attitude that made him an obvious choice for The Fearless issue.


You can read part of Paolo’s interview on Hunger TV next week, but before that, we’ve got something rather exciting for you. On the day of his shoot with Rankin Paolo took a trip into our Dirty Video studio for an exclusive rendition of album track “Diana”. And he wasn’t alone. A rousing tale of a lost relationship, we set out to find the perfect Diana, and found her in model and actress Amber Anderson, who graced one of our twenty Mighty Blighty covers back in February. Tune in to see exactly what happened when Paolo met Amber. We think you’ll agree, this is one of our best Dirty Videos to date…



Read Paolo’s exclusive interview in the Fearless issue of Hunger magazine, out now.

 

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DIANA
Words and Music by Paolo Nutini and Dave Nelson

Drowning in you, asking nothing, aching
Do you believe in passion and romance
Needing to be within us and around us

Diana she loves me
No innocence or compromise
Diana she loves me
The only way she knows

When your soul is in flight
You set your body free
And under your lightning glistens
In all its fantasy
And there’s a shiver of velvet tension
From an astralized dimension
Emanating beneath our liberty
While for some love is whips and chains
And perpetual parlour games
I stand for you, you open up to me

And she said she wants the loneliness to go
But she won’t give up for nothing

Diana she loves me
No innocence or compromise
Diana she loves me
The only way she knows

Diana she loves me
No innocence or compromise
Diana she loves me
The only way she knows

 

 

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VOTE FOR PAOLO!

Please vote for Paolo for BEST SOLO ARTIST and for IRON SKY as TRACK OF THE YEAR at this year’s Q Awards!

It’s quick, it’s easy and hey, it’s for Paolo!  

Vote HERE and HERE!

 

Track of the year contenders: Paolo Nutini – Iron Sky, Sam Smith – Stay With Me, Lorde – Royals, Kaiser Chiefs – Coming Home, and Kasabian – Eez-Eh

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Solo artist contenders: Paolo Nutini, St Vincent, Damon Albarn, Jake Bugg and Ed Sheeran.

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Electric Picnic Live Review – Paolo Nutini

The Hot Press Newsdesk, 31 Aug 2014

Dressed in a well-pressed shirt tucked into his jeans, there’s more than a bit of ‘casual Friday’ about Paolo Nutini. Fitting; from the start, he means business.

His Caustic Love album marked a departure from the sound which brought him early success. This show was built around the new approach, and even old favourites were subject to a radical overhaul.

Backed by a brass section and a whole posse of musicians collectively known as The Vipers, his set is a masterclass in festival in festival performance, managing that keen trick of intimacy in a crowd which must have numbered 20,000.

An R&B driven ‘Jenny Don’t Be Hasty’ gets the crowd going; the singalong during ‘New Shoes’ was probably audible from space. By the time he finishes with a solo rendition of ‘Candy’, he looks visibly moved by the adoration of the Stradbally faithful.

He’d introduced the set by saying, “I’m Paolo, they’re The Vipers, and we fuckin’ love ya”. If the introduction was unnecessary, then so too was the proclamation; for tonight, it’s nothing but love at the main stage.