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Friday, February 22nd
The Critics Corner: Albums
All Time Low
Paolo Nutini- Sunny Side Up
Sophomore LP shows off creativity and expression
Leave This Town
Name: "Sunny Side Up"
Label: Atlantic
Release Date: June 2, 2009
My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Review written by: Kate Mikus
Paolo Nutini burst onto the scene in 2006 with his first album "These Streets". Like many albums to hit the scene these days, it appeared to be a typical over-processed pop-esque album with no sense of originality to it. Nevertheless, it went on to sell over two million copies. Three years later, Nutini returns with his sophomore album "Sunny Side Up", which turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The album shows more creativity and perhaps more about Nutini himself as an artist, being able to express himself for possibly the first time. It is clear that Paolo Nutini has made great strides in the music industry. Writing all the songs himself, Paolo proves to be a jack of all trades.

The album starts out with “10/10” which will get anyone up and dancing around. An infectious tune with a Jamaican sound, which is about Paolo wanting to please his lover, is a perfect start to the album. Tracks two and three, “Coming up Easy” and “Growing up Beside You” are more mellow, yet catchy nonetheless. Both have underlying messages in them which showcase Nutini’s writing talent. “Coming up Easy” appears to be about someone in his life; yet, they have to go their separate ways yet despite doing so, he is in love. “Growing up Beside You,” is presumably about Nutini’s girlfriend of more than seven years, model Teri Brogan. The song tells a story about growing up and maturing beside someone.

Possibly the most intriguing song on the album is the fourth track, “Candy.” It is obvious Nutini has an imagination of his own, as it isn’t clear exactly what the song is about and can be left up to the listener’s interpretation. Several theories are that the song is about either a girl or drugs. My wild imagination chooses to believe the drug theory. The fifth track “Tricks of the Trade” keeps the mellow vibe trekking on.

Imagine sitting in a smoke-filled, 30’s based Jazz Club where everyone is having a blast and is dancing the night away. The sixth track “Pencil Full of Lead” will make the listener imagine just that. It starts off with a mix of the trumpet and saxophone to get the tone going. The song is without a doubt my personal favorite on the album.

Tracks seven through nine (“No Other Way”, “High Hopes” and “Chamber Music”) once again have a mellow vibe; yet showcases Nutini’s singer/songwriter persona. Tracks ten and eleven (“Simple Things” and “Worried Man”) promise a good end to the album with an upbeat feel. There is a bit of violins, viola and cello mixed into “Worried Man” which is an interesting three sixty from the usual acoustic coffeehouse feel.

My one critique is that I was a little disappointed to see the album end with “Keep Rolling.” The song was in one word: slow. It didn’t captivate my attention, but perhaps that was Paolo Nutini’s intention: keep the audience wanting more, which I certainly do.

When I first checked out the album, I was a bit skeptical. I had only been a fan of a few songs on Paolo’s first album. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how much the style changed on Sunny Side Up from These Streets. With a little bit of a Jamaican beats, poppy dance tunes, a bit of Jazz and the usual singer/songwriter feel, Sunny Side Up without a doubt surpassed my expectations. Nutini’s gravel voice adds a certain depth to the songs and if one looks at the meaning of them, it is clear that Nutini is mature beyond his years, leaving any competition in the dust.  It is definitely an album worth checking out and I feel as if we haven’t even begun to see the magic Paolo Nutini is capable of creating.
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