Boomkat Product Review:
*Special Edition version comes with two bonus tracks* The ex-Arab Strap man releases his first album for Full Time Hobby, and it certainly sees him upping the scale of his musical ambitions. A Brighter Beat is loaded with lavish string arrangements, and crisp full-bodied productions and Middleton’s songwriting is on top form too. The man himself describes this as “a pop album for people who hate pop music” but in truth it sounds more like a pop album for people who hate EVERYTHING. Middleton’s lyrics have an undeniable darkness at their core and in fact it’s that maudlin quality that makes A Brighter Beat so compelling. The creeping blackness of Middleton’s vocal on ‘Stay Close Sit Tight’ is entirely at odds with the euphoric effulgence of the music. Similarly beautiful is the skewed romance of ‘F**k It, I Love You’, loaded with a combination of weariness and optimism it neatly sums up Middleton’s unique charms.