Even five years on since the release of widely acclaimed sophomore album Sunny Side Up, Nutini’s uniquely unmistakeable Glaswegian/Italian tones, ear for melody, and catchy songwriting shine through upon first listen to the yet-to-be-released Scream (Funk My Life Up). With the production on the single leaning more towards the RnB pop revival of Bruno Mars and others, it’s certainly more danceable than previous releases. And with rumours of an album to be released in April, this is possibly indicative of a new, third direction for the singer’s third LP.
Horn stabs, gospel backing vocals and Latin percussion abound throughout the single, and with Nutini crooning “funk my life up” throughout, it feels like an all-too-explicit announcement of an evident shift in style. Listeners taken with the acoustically rooted soft-rock, ballads and big choruses of previous efforts may find it difficult to latch on to the new sound, as it’s certainly an unexpected move – and one that, in my eyes, doesn’t entirely reflect the talent evident in the Nutini of Jenny Don’t Be Hasty, Last Request and New Shoes.
Disappointing, but still worth a listen.