Sunday, Jan. 28, 7 p.m., free
Scottish-born singer/songwriter Paolo Nutini, already a hit across the pond, will make Indianapolis one of the early stops on his first U.S. tour. His free show at Radio Radio Sunday kicks off a heavy-duty week of appearances that include spots on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Today Show, leading up to the release of his debut album, The Streets, Jan. 30.
Nutini became a European sensation last summer, drawing comparisons to Coldplay and Al Green, and sharing the stage with Ben E. King, Robert Plant and Kid Rock.
These Streets is an interesting pastiche of influences; just the first few songs bear the marks of David Bowie, early Mellencamp and (no kidding) Tommy Tutone, and not just because “Jenny” is in the first song’s title. The album goes on to feature sounds that draw from country and modern emo. It shows great technical skill, but it also has a certain blandness to it, a carefully crafted mass-market appeal. It’s smooth and easily digested, almost overly so; you half expect to hear a TV announcer’s voice intoning “Tonight’s episode of The OC features music by …” A few more rough edges would help in honing his style. But then, he’s on Conan, so take these comments as you may.