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A Brighter Beat by Malcolm Middleton

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Reviewed on 8th February 2007.


A Brighter Beat

By Malcolm Middleton

Break and post break-up songs are great. Ask any disco fan. Or pop fan. Or country fan. Or folk fan... or to be honest, any fan of any genre. As this is Malcolm Middleton's post break-up song, we can safely assume that his former band Arab Strap (and more precisely, Malcolm's erstwhile colleague Aidan Moffat) are going to figure in the equation somewhere. Which means that this could be really great.

Malcolm's singing voice is the same old dry Glaswegian delivery coupled with badly disguised embarrassment at the leading man position he's just walked in to. However, and try as it might, this can't hide the simultaneous feeling of regret and excitement about the whole situation - he may be singing "...since you've gone and left me there's nothing here but a tenner in my pocket and fridge full of beer...", but the personality behind his lyrics is that of a man freed, not in despair. The music fits this mood perfectly, and is the fast-paced indie rock that only the Scots seem to be able to pull off: being simultaneously mournful, upbeat, poppy and not a bit contrived is a difficult musical road to walk down. One minor gripe though, there really is no need for a multitude of guitars smothering Malcolm's voice, even if he does sound like he's trying to hide behind them.

Basically, this is the sound of a man casting off his role in one of the best indie bands of the last ten years with dignity and enthusiasm. It's hardly a flying leap from the Arab Strap sound, but Malcolm Middleton is in no way indebted to his former band and its shines through in the music - this is a formulaic genre that lives and dies on the conviction of its delivery, and this very much lives.



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On 12th February 2007 at 20:37 Anonymous 401 wrote...

Just to clarify that this is the single 'A Brighter Beat', not the album of the same name.

Just in case like...


On 13th February 2007 at 12:48 Anonymous 401 wrote...

And my copy only had the one track on it as well. I'm not lazy or anything...



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