[Full Time Hobby; 03/03/2008]
Scottish accents. Don't you just love them? former Arab Strap member, Malcolm Middlton, has continued in his rich vein of songwriting that evokes a thick Scottish tinged folk sensibility along with acoustic guitars and subtle piano, drums and violin giving his music an emotion packed edge.
Middleton's latest affair, Sleight of Heart, is more of same from the boy from Fallkirk, who continues to choose metaphores that move in a shallower waters as apposed to his contemporaries. 'Blue Plastic Bags' leads this notion with a nice climatic end, with Middleton drawling “sing along to a sad song” while drums and piano work deep in the mix. Highlight of the album, 'Love Comes in Waves', encaptulates Middleton's songwriting prowess to a tee, with it's seven minute and five seconds of pure Scottish folk bliss in the darkest sense of the term.
Middleton not only releases material in a quick succession, but the quality control in the manner he releases it in is always commendable. Rarely does his albums exceed 10 tracks, which is very important for a solo artist in this day an age. Sleight Of Heart doesn't rank as his most difinitive work, but perhaps it's more of a welcoming addition to the fine catalouge he already boasts.
By Simon K