Paolo Nutini – Last Night in the Bittersweet
Paolo Nutini has always been something of an enigma, effortlessly slipping between genres. From his debut These Streets to his last record, the spellbinding Caustic Love (remarkably, eight years ago in 2014), he has encompassed elements of ska, indie, soul and RnB. Nutini has made a welcome return after an extended hiatus with his fourth and most ambitious record to date, Last Night in the Bittersweet, fresh off the back of a surprise set at Glastonbury, with a string of festival dates this summer.
The album is a sprawling array of styles across its 16 tracks, perhaps the best advert yet of the artist’s breadth and versatility, and, of course, his distinctive, growling voice that seems to fit like a glove, no matter what sound he is trying for. The album was preceded by several singles, including the haunting, beautiful Through the Echoes, which perhaps feels closest to the more soulful sound found on Caustic Love. The second song preceding the record, Lose It couldn’t be further away sonically, conjuring a slow indie groove and sounding more like something Fontaines DC would put out.
Acid Eyes (given an acoustic reworking at Glastonbury) is a more electronic-sounding track with a thundering drumbeat, though it still finds room for Nutini’s vocals to stand out and remains in keeping with the rockier vibe across the record. This is sure to be a live favourite.
This is easily the most out-and-out rock record Nutini has made since his debut, and while there are still elements of other genres, Last Night in Bittersweet feels more an indie, at times post-punk record than anything else. Heart Filled Up has the pomp and slow background beat of the Stone Roses (especially I Wanna Be Adored). This release is a reminder that, in addition to being a fine singer-songwriter and vocalist, Nutini is an excellent guitarist – something that is perhaps lost on his last two records (for all their brilliance). It’s exemplified on the epic Shine a Light and Desperation, especially where he lets himself loose on several striking solos.
It’s safe to say that after eight years away, Paolo Nutini has lost none of his relevance, and his adoring fanbase will find much to love in these new tracks with a number of epics to be found, including penultimate offering, the six-minute-51-second Take Me to Mine, which ranks amongst the most luscious tracks he has recorded thus far. This is a consistently far-reaching, impressive set of songs that works harmoniously and continues the strong run of Nutini’s first three records. Let’s hope its not eight years until the next one !!
Last Night in the Bittersweet is released on 1st July 2022. For further information or to order the album visit Paolo Nutini’s website here.
Watch a live performance of Through the Echoes here: