Malcolm Middleton & David Shrigley – Music And Words

A bizarre little treat…

Seemingly born in lieu of payment for David Shrigley’s artwork rendered on Malcolm Middleton’s ‘A Brighter Beat’ album, ‘Music And Words’ began on a whim. Presenting two unique voices working in entirely different disciplines, it’s a fascinating if often frustrating document, one packed with ideas but sometimes lacking resolution.

Utilising words supplied by Shrigley, Middleton would set to work feeling as though he had grasped the theme – often to be told otherwise. This relationship, though, makes for wonderful artistic tension: the bold PC voices on ‘A Computer’ or the black humour of ‘Story Time’, for example.

‘Music And Words’ is a record shot through with irony, with a rare level of caustic wit; ‘Caveman’ has a rich turn of phrase, while ‘Dear Brain’ is remarkably self-effacing.

A bizarre little record, ‘Music And Words’ was seemingly kicked off in 2007. With a seven-year gestation, it would be nigh on impossible to maintain a full sense of coherency, but the twin artists just about manage it. This will no doubt be beloved by the few who stumble across its path.

6/10

Words: Robin Murray

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