Malcolm Middleton - album review
A Brighter Beat
(Full Time Hobby)
Ex-Arab Strapper Malcolm Middleton posted his intent with the glorious 2005 album Into the Woods, and this remarkable follow-up cements his place as one of the best songwriters in the country. There is an anthemic pop sensibility here that was seldom evident in the Strap, Middleton combining some brilliantly complex yet emotive lyrics with open-hearted, wide-eyed pop, rock and folk arrangements to create something that is incredibly touching yet also often feels like a brilliant drunken singalong. Tracks like ‘Four Cigarettes’, ‘Fuck It, I Love You’ and monumental closer ‘Superhero Songwriter’ manage to be both melancholic and uplifting simultaneously, self-deprecating, funny, hopeful and poignant into the bargain. Fantastic stuff.