Jenny Don't Be Hasty
Paolo Nutini landed a contract with Atlantic Records at the age of 18 based on the power of his voice — a rich, expressive instrument that endearingly blends his Scottish brogue with some grit and gravel to produce a soulful timbre that belies his tender age. These Streets is an impressive debut, and the overall quality of the songwriting shows an unusual maturity. The majority of the songs are slow acoustic ballads (some with strings) and it’s to Nutini’s credit that he pulls them off convincingly. In particular, “Last Request” and the title tune are excellent vehicles for his outstanding vocals, but he shines most brightly on the upbeat numbers, especially “Jenny Don’t Be Hasty,” about a woman who loves everything about him except his young age, and the catchy “New Shoes” with its absolutely infectious chorus. More of these kinds of energetic tunes would be most welcome, but that’s a quibble — this is a strong first effort by a young artist with a promising future.