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Baker's Dozen

Summer 13: Malcolm Middleton's Favourite Albums
Nicola Meighan , July 13th, 2016 08:42

Following the release of his sixth album, Summer Of '13, and before Arab Strap play their anniversary gigs later this year, the musician talks Nicola Meighan through the records that have had the biggest effect on him


Marina & The Diamonds – Froot
I remember hearing 'I Am Not A Robot' [from 2009's The Family Jewels] on the radio. Marina had a couple of singles before her first record which were really good pop songs, and they were really clever. And again, thinking about it now, it's that tone again, the Madonna tone. I don't know what it is with that vocal delivery. Maybe it's a pseudo-maternal element? I'll just go and lie down on the couch.

Anyway, I liked a couple of her singles, but when the first album came out, I was disappointed. I liked Marina's voice but I thought she did too much. Those vocal histrionics. And then the second album came out, which I was vaguely aware of, and it sounded like she'd got carried away. But then Froot came out and I heard the title track and it just blew me away. So I got the record and it was one of those albums where you pass over the songs and you think there's maybe a couple of good ones in there, and then a week later you think, why didn't I notice that one before? And then you notice another one. Froot's like that.

I think it's an amazing album. Her voice is great but it's not too over the top. It's got lots of good songs on it, loads of pop elements, the production's amazing. There's not actually that much going on at all, it's really quite minimal. It's almost like 'Umbrella' by Rihanna, in that there's nothing there apart from the vocals and some buzzing about underneath. Good songs and great choruses.