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With over 3m album sales to his name in the UK alone, Paolo Nutini can do what he wants: hence the leisurely five year gap since his last album; and hence too the Scottish singer’s self-transformation from genial troubadour with a big raspy voice to tight-trousered sex machine with a big raspy voice.
“Scream (Funk My Life Up)” is a horn-blowing, guitar-strutting number about a “girl” who makes Nutini “wanna scream hallelujah” while “Numpty” suggests she shouldn’t hope for a longer-term engagement, our man roaring commitment-phobic verses over a mellow southern-soul groove. The Memphis Horns-meet-Rod Stewart approach stumbles on dull plodders “One Day” and “Better Man”, but revives on the daftly enjoyable “Fashion”, Nutini panting hoarsely after a woman “strutting cool down Carnaby Street” (“What a body! What a woman!”) before US R&B singer Janelle Monae answers back with a scene-stealing guest rap.