After an 8 year hiatus from releasing new music, Paolo Nutini is back with his fourth studio album, Last Night In The Bittersweet.
Upon the release of his first two singles from the album back in May, I was excited to hear a rock influence come through in the 5 minutes of ‘Lose It’ and the familiarity of Paolo’s voice in a more soulful and stripped back ‘Through The Echoes’.
Going by those singles, I assumed this is what Last Night In The Bittersweet was going to be, both a familiar sound to cater to Paolo Nutini’s fan base with new influences breaking through.
“Trying to save a memory of you and me in a better time…”
The album opens with ‘Afterneath’, a track that blends rock and spoken word while sampling dialogue from the movie ‘True Romance‘. It starts slowly before turning into a more uptempo, slightly chaotic number and that in itself sets the tone perfectly.
‘Radio’ is the second track and one of my personal favourites of the album. It’s a soulful, more grand gesture of a song that entertains the idea of a new love and a realisation that perhaps just dawned on Nutini at the time. A lyric featured goes “And there’s nothing on the radio”, but rather ironically, I can hear this as a future hit on the radio.
“Listen for me through the echoes”
Previously released ‘Through The Echoes’ – backed with piano and acoustic guitar – is certainly more ‘Paolo’, whereas ‘Acid Eyes’ is a little more vulnerable, with an underlying passionate guitar sound.
As what seems to be tradition with Paolo Nutini albums now – take the 2014 album ‘Caustic Love’, for example – we’re treated to an almost poem like interlude in ‘Stranded Words’. It serves well as an opener to the second half of the album with the sixth track ‘Lose It’ beginning quickly after (another one of my personal favourites).
“Never lonely, two hearts in the night
Oh, I was petrified in love”
Another potential hit comes from the upbeat, pop track ‘Petrified In Love’, it’s one you’ll catch onto pretty quickly and be singing along to before it ends.
One of the many things Nutini does best, is crafting a story through songwriting. A skill that remains evident in tracks like ‘Everywhere’, the country/folk sounding ‘Abigail’ and The Beatles-esque ‘Children Of The Stars’.
“I am your writer, who bleeds indecision,
Your lover, your waiter, your saddest edition”
After about 70 minutes or so the album closes with ‘Writer’, just Nutini’s vocals and his acoustic guitar. If you listen to this album in full, you will realise that this song is the perfect end to an epic indie-rock but soulful album.
Cleverly, Last Night In The Bittersweet relishes in both the bitter and sweet moments of love, life and relationships.
At an hour and 12 minutes, it will take some listening to but the musical journey this 70s and 80s rock inspired album will take you on, is so worth it.