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Sleight Of Heart
CD $9.50

05/27/2008 5060100663845 

FTH 044 CD 

Following the critical success of 2007's A Brighter Beat and an improbable bid for the Christmas number one slot with We're All Going To Die, Malcolm Middleton is back to business with a new, stripped-back record. 
Sleight of Heart is comprised of tracks written during the Brighter Beat sessions and a handful of cover versions. Initially conceived as an acoustic LP--and largely remaining so--the album was recorded at Chemikal Underground Studios in Glasgow. Middleton's recording band (featuring Mogwai's Barry Burns on piano, ex-Delgadoes man Paul Savage on drums, touring bassist Stevie Jones, and Jenny Reeve on backing vocals) joined in to flesh out the sound. "I suppose this album is a reaction to the production of A Brighter Beat, which I love, but I felt it was time for something quieter," says Middleton. "My songs are usually written on a guitar, so this way they are closer to the original form." 
There's plenty to cherish in the nine new tracks here. Opener "A Week Off" has the wonderful line "I'll write a good song just give me more time / It's easy hating yourself, it's hard making it rhyme," and is surely the only tune released this year to name-check Fleetwood Mac. Elsewhere, "Love Comes in Waves" is what Middleton sarcastically describes as "over-blown Glasgow indie-pop," "Total Belief" finds him contemplating his "unworthiness"--a common strand in his solo work--and "Blue Plastic Bags" is a brilliantly observed song about British drinking culture. The listener will also find the selection of covers unpredictable--a tortured version of Madonna's "Stay" rubs shoulders with a lively take on King Creosote's "Marguerita Red" and Jackson C. Frank's "Just Like Anything." 
It all amounts to a captivating record from a man who's fast becoming one of the UK's most cherished--and prolific--artists.


  1. #1 Week Off

  2. #2 Blue Plastic Bags

  3. #3 Total Belief

  4. #4 Just Like Anything

  5. #5 Follow Robin Down

  6. #6 Stay

  7. #7 Marguerita Red

  8. #8 Love Comes In Waves

  9. #9 Hey You