In the 90s, Joe McAlinden was the frontman of Superstar, purveyors of beautifully arranged, Beach Boys and Big Star-inspired sunshine pop, doomed to languish in the shadow of their similarly minded, if slightly heavier friends Teenage Fanclub. If the intervening 10 years as a restaurateur in rural Scotland haven't done much to alter McAlinden's musical approach, nor has it done anything to dim the talents that made Superstar more special than their commercial standing suggested. His deft melodic touch is still fully in place, as heard on the effortless, tumbling chorus of the single Brown Bird Singing, and his voice remains gorgeous: high and feminine and emotive. The wheel obviously goes unreinvented here, but that doesn't stop Bleached Highlights being a joy: half an hour of blissful sunshine.
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