Every so often I make up a mix CD of my favorite songs at the moment; mostly new songs, but with some old songs sprinkled in for flavor. I thought it’d be a neat feature of this new blog to go through, song-by-song, and explain a little about why it appeals to me.
When you think of Scotland and rock music, what comes to mind is usually Rod Stewart or Shirley Manson. But Paolo Nutini has come onto the scene to change all that. He follows the pattern that most British artists have (well, except for Bush): a great deal of success overseas, with flash-in-the-pan status in the States if they’re lucky. It certainly seems that Nutini is at the height of his career here. His two singles have barely cracked US charts. The more successful of the two, “New Shoes”, appears here.
I first heard the song while seeing the video on VH1. (As with the first couple of tracks, you’ll notice that VH1 is a major source of how I find new music. In fact, Nutini is still a You Oughta Know artist there.) The song is funky and light–perfect for summer. I became interested in this young new talent from Great Britain, as I’d had good luck with music from the empire recently. But as I began seeing live performances, on YouTube or the late night shows, for example, I was disappointed. His performance style can be described as “neo-wino”, hanging over the microphone, mumbling incoherently. That works with some people, but with Nutini, I found it off-putting. I’ll keep an open mind, though.
Next time: speaking of neo-wino…