9. These Streets - Paolo Nutini (2006)
The soulful Scot caught fire quickly with his impressive debut LP, which came in hot off the heels of the popularity surrounding lead single Last Request.
Blending pop and soft rock with blue-eyed soul, Paolo Nutini won over many critics with versatile songwriting and heartfelt lyricism. For listeners, Nutini's emotional honesty, coupled with a host of infectious melodies, made him a compelling new arrival in the mainstream.
At just 19 years old, the Paisley-born star boasted a remarkably strong, soulful voice. His authentic vocal delivery, coupled with bluesy instrumentation, makes for a moody, atmospheric journey through themes such as love, self-discovery, and heartbreak. Tracks such as Jenny Don't Be Hasty and Last Request showcase an innate ability to tell compelling, lyrical stories on Nutini's part. The likes of Rewind and New Shoes, meanwhile, energise the LP with more playful, upbeat vibes, highlighting the artist's songwriting versatility.
While not as original or as genre-blending as some of Nutini's later efforts, These Streets provides an absorbing, youthful look at the noughties' soft rock stylings. With elements of piano, acoustic guitar, and sporadic horns to foster a rich, dynamic sound, the LP serves as a neatly produced, consistently engaging light rock effort.