I Want That You Are Always Happy is a stunning depature from The Middle East's often lofty, ethereal debut, Recordings of The Middle East. Imbued with a very profound, heavy sense of melancholy and pure American nostalgia, the record smolders, emitting a steady plume of gray smoke casually and elegantly. A truly superb independent folk album.
Where do you go after penning one of the greatest songs in Australian music history all before you've released a debut album? Seemingly, in the Middle East's case, down a long and painful slope into sepia mediocrity. The magic of "Blood," the game-changing life-affirmer that started it all, is long gone on I Want That You Are Always Happy, in its place a dreary monotone that weeps, moans and mumbles for over an hour. Taking listeners on a meandering, uneventful journey that leaves them none the wiser on whatever the band is rambling on about, the entire affair is one of sore, devastating disappointment. Not long after its release, the band burned out and announced their split. Can you really blame them?