Hearing Mutlu’s “Nothing in This Whole Wide World” is a restorative event. The second single from Mutlu’s Good Trouble album teams him with vocalist John Oates, one half of the legendary Hall & Oates duo, and will make a deep impact on anyone who values soulful and authentic musical expression. There’s nothing calculated about this release; it plays to no fashion of the moment. Instead, Mutlu’s “Nothing in This Whole Wide World” invokes pure magic balancing a full throated homage to the Philly soul sound of the 1970’s with a modern performance aesthetic without missing a step along the way. Mutlu’s songwriting chops are beyond question. Oates and guitarist Shane Theriot complete the circle with a five star production job framing the performance in a way emphasizing its strengths and sweetening its appealing for modern audiences. “Nothing in This Whole Wide World” will find favor with all but the hardest of hearts.
The arrangement is exquisite. There isn’t a single piece out of sync throughout the song’s near four minute duration. Oates and Theriot do an exemplary job of threading the various musical strands into a robust and colorful tapestry. There’s no overlap, nothing ever bleeds over, and the track emerges as a seamless expression of Mutlu’s affection for its subject. “Nothing in This Whole Wide World” doesn’t remake the songwriting wheel by broaching some subject hitherto never explored in popular song – it’s a love song and Mutlu makes no bones about conveying his sentiments with the unvarnished emotion you would expect and hope for from such material. It is warm without ever being overwrought and has an uplifting swing guaranteed to please listeners without ever pandering to them.
Much of this is due to Mutlu’s vocals. He has phrasing talents as a singer capable of elevating every day conversational lyrics to the level of performed poetry. It’s easy to become enamored of this song thanks to, if nothing else, the ebb and flow of how Mutlu delivers the lyrics, especially during the chorus. He climbs and descends through the lyrics in both the verses and chorus with innate skill and experience gained from live performance; “Nothing in This Whole Wide World” will play well for live crowds. John Oates’ backing vocals are a lovely touch to the song and their impact on the song complements Multu’s talents well.
Shane Theriot’s guitar, Henry Hey’s keyboards, the rhythm section work from drummer Brian Dunne and bassist Klyde Jones are the pieces of the musical puzzle that, locked in, help realize the track’s potential. “Nothing in This Whole Wide World” is a first class single from an equally powerful studio release and illustrates why Mutlu has established such a sterling reputation as one of the best performers emerging from Philadelphia and surrounding environs in a number of years. He’s going to be with us for many years to come and true music fans couldn’t be luckier. I’ll be listening, that’s for sure, and I can’t recommend this track enough, especially for those who love soul music.
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