SONG OF THE DAY – “BETTER MAN” by Paolo Nutini

June 10, 2014

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Today’s song is by an artist that is literally the hottest thing happening in the UK right now. I have heard more about him through other artists posts, tweets, and playlists than pretty much anyone else out there. I also had a friend (here in the US) who suggested that it was time that I dedicate a “Song of the Day” post to the great Paolo Nutini, so Chris this is for you today.

This song is from Paolo Giovani Nutini, a Scottish singer-songwriter and musician. I am guessing that when you heard his name you might have assumed he was from Italy, but, although his father is from Italian descent, his mother is Scottish and both parents are third generation Scots. This song is from Paolo Nutini’s third album, called Caustic Loveand it is being hailed as his best and most prolific album yet. After it’s release in April 2014, it became the fasting selling album in the UK this year (as a side note, the album has not yet been released in the US, but he has released the Iron Sky EP). It has been five years since his last (sophomore) album – Sunny Side Up – and he has really come into his own artistically on this album. One reviewer said that he has become “a fully realized musician.” The Independent said,

“Caustic Love may be the best UK R&B album since the 1970s blue-eyed-soul heyday of Rod Stewart and Joe Cocker.”

This new album has a lot of classic musical inspirations, but it still sounds very modern and timeless. His vocals are amazing! Surprisingly, Nutini has been a star in the UK since he released his debut album, These Streets, eight years ago at the age of 18. With this album, I believe he will reach that same status here in the US. He is touring now and will be performing here in NYC at Webster Hall this Thursday, June 12.

Paolo Nutini is a very soulful singer and certainly fits in the category of Jazz, Soul, and R&B, along with something uniquely his own. I love this song that I am posting today. It is such an incredibly emotion-packed song with an amazing combination of music, lyrics, and his voice. Awesome! Another song off his new album that is just absolutely fantastic, particularly when you watch him perform it live, is called “Iron Sky.” The song includes a segment from Charlie Chaplin’s famous speech in the 1940 film, The Great Dictator. I have attached the video of his live performance at Abbey Road Studios here; it is definitely worth a watch. I love watching his live performances because he is so passionate and soulful in his delivery, plus … he is a beautiful man. 😉

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SONG OF THE DAY – “CRAZY” by Gnarls Barkley

February 6, 2013

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It’s Throwback Thursday! Today’s #tbt song was originally posted as my daughter’s Song of the Day on November 2, 2009!

I absolutely love this song! It has been a favorite of mine since it’s release in early 2006.
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I remember vividly the first time I heard the song. I was living in Arizona at the time and had a remarkable yoga instructor, named Alex Austin, who also plays amazing music in his yoga classes. His playlists have always been an inspiration. (Ugh, makes me miss his yoga classes just thinking about it!) He played this song in his class and I immediately loved it! It is a great song for practicing yoga.
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Interestingly, I just had a discussion about this song over the weekend in NYC with a young man who is a musician and owns a recording studio. We were “nerding out” talking about music and we discussed how awesome this song is, both from the sound of CeeLo’s distinctive voice to the incredible depth of the music itself. Of course, as soon as I got home, I played the song and so it was an easy decision for my #tbt song today. I am glad to have it playing again on this recent playlist.
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When I first heard the song and the name of the group, I thought Gnarls Barkley was a person, but I quickly realized it was the name of a duo that included Danger Mouse (music producer, Brian Joseph Burton) and CeeLo Green (singer-songwriter, Thomas DeCarlo Callaway). CeeLo is probably most famous for his role on the television show, “The Voice,” but you have to admit that the guy can sing! I hear rumours that Gnarls Barkley may be releasing a new album in the near future and that is exciting news, particularly if they can recreate a song like “Crazy” again.
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“Crazy” was the soul duo’s first single released in April 2006 off their debut album, St. Elsewhere. They won two Grammy Awards in 2007 for Best Urban/Alternative performance for “Crazy” and Best Alternative Music Album, but they were also nominated for two of the big awards that year as well – Album Of The Year and Record Of The Year. Amazing song that ranks right up there in my list of all-time favorites.
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