Bearing all this in mind, it's pretty fortunate that he's chosen to return with an album that should have the word "eclectic" stamped on its cover. The Paisley-born singer skips between ragtime, ska-pop and old-fashioned American R&B on this colourful sophomore effort, which should make everyone - us included - feel a bit silly for lumping him in with the likes of James Morrison. Where Morrison simply churned out more dreary love songs on his second album Songs For You, Truths For Me, Nutini has ditched the blander elements of his debut and embraced a collage of different styles.
Choosing 'Candy' as the album's lead single is a curious one. It's a pleasant enough bluesy pop tune that will have pleased fans of his debut, but it seemed unlikely to rescue him from the quagmire of mediocrity. Thankfully, album opener '10/10' puts a lightning bolt through such preconceptions. A Jamaican-tinged, brass-heavy romp, it's a raucous statement of intent that will have you reaching for the nearest pork pie hat. 'Coming Up Easy', meanwhile, is the album standout, with the Scot's passionate closing refrain ("It was in love I was created, and in love is how I hope I'll die") swamped in horns and a swinging soul tune.
Elsewhere, the ragtime grooves of 'Pencil Full of Lead' stay just the ride side of kooky, while the country-tinged 'Simple Things' manages to avoid sounding like a pastiche thanks to Nutini's canny ability to adapt his singing style between songs. In fact, the only problem with Sunny Side Up is that Nutini may now be attempting too many different styles. As his vocals veer between a Dylan-esque grunt ('Chamber Music') and soulful croon ('High Hopes'), he becomes guilty of trying too hard to prove his versatility, forsaking authenticity in the process. This higgledy-piggledy approach, however, shouldn't detract from what is a thoroughly enjoyable second album. Expect to see Sunny Side Up near the top of the best-seller lists come the end of the year.
> Click here to read our recent interview with Paolo Nutini