Album Reviews

Album Review: Malcolm Middleton – Waxing Gibbous (Full Time Hobby)

By | Published on Monday 1 June 2009

Malcolm Middleton

Malcolm Middleton, formerly one half of Arab Strap of course, has always dealt with the sad side of life in his music, and this new long player can be easily described as a ‘break up album’. The songs talk about how he was good with ‘her’ and bad without, but with lovely harmonies and upbeat guitars. The theme is clear throughout, from opener and lead single ‘Red Travellin’ Socks’, where he doesn’t see his girlfriend enough because he spends too much time away, through to ‘Made Up Your Mind’, a last plaintive cry to try and save their relationship – “I’ve got more I’ve been saving in case you had doubts”. Elsewhere, ‘Carry Me’ is about disappointment with life, complete with spoken word sections and a yearning chorus, while ‘Zero’, despite almost breaking into electro beats at one point, is another song of failure and disaster – this time about how he’s been waiting for this girl, but realises too late that he’s lost her. It all sounds pretty bleak when I put it like that doesn’t it? But it really doesn’t feel all that melancholic when you’re listening to it, despite the theme, and fans of Middleton will definitely be satisfied – this is classic stuff. Let’s hope it’s good enough to win the girl back. IM

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