This ambitious fourth album from the singer could be trimmed down a bit but is filled with an impressive range of songs.

This latest album from Paolo Nutini is filled with plenty of twists and turns musically that makes for a consistently intriguing listen – even if it feels as though the album could be trimmed down slightly with 16 songs tending to overwhelm. But this being said, it is certainly a surprising album – with the songs showing a surprising departure from previous work such as ‘Last Request’, ‘Pencil Full of Lead’ and ‘New Shoes’.

Each song on the album has quite a build up to it, which while on the one hand allows the song to build perfectly such as on ‘Radio’ and ‘Shine a Light’, and take the listener on a wonderful musical journey, it can also on others ‘Afterneath’ and ‘Heart Filled Up’ feel as though it is extending the song unnecessarily.

What is to be admired about this album is the diverse musical range that Paolo Nutini has been able to apply on this album from the gentle but edgy rock vibe of ‘Lose it’ to the more reflective and romantic sounding ‘Julianne’. This means in turn that listeners get to really experience the full range and depth of Nutini’s vocals which are consistently extraordinary and distinctive as you can hear particularly on songs such as ‘Writer’ and ‘Everywhere’.

Lyrically, there are plenty of twists and turns in each song that is interesting and compelling to listen to but musically there is also much to be enjoyed. I really enjoyed the vibrancy and uplifting sound of ‘Children of the Stars’, while there is a great energy to ‘Petrified in Love’ and ‘Desperation’. It is clear that a lot of thought has gone into this album and given the variety of songs on it, structurally it somehow still works – each song has been cleverly placed for effect to make the listener sit up and pay attention.

On initial listening, it may come across as being a bit of a patchwork album but actually it means that it has a quirky charm about it that makes you want to explore it again. An intriguing and somewhat bold album.

By Emma Clarendon

Last Night in the Bittersweet is available to buy and download now.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


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