Saturday, April 07, 2007

Our Earthly Pleasures - Maximo Park

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I'm not what you would call an avid fan of Maximo Park. Whilst the world and his dog was raving over A Certain Trigger I was sitting there thinking "well they're alright, but hardly brilliant." Still, despite my many protestations to the contrary I don't mind the Kaiser Chiefs all that much and as Maximo Park were better than them on that NME tour the other year it stands to reason that I am quite receptive to the idea of their new album even if I'm hardly salivating over the prospect.

Lead single Our Velocity was quite the tune, and to my ears at least was the best thing they've ever done. I'm aware that some might see that statement in terms of blasphemy but what can I say. Those of you that way inclined though might take solace in the fact that Our Velocity is not even the best thing on this album.

Opening track Girls Who Play Guitars is even better being at both spiky and catchy and considering these two tracks kick things off we're already veering into "miles better than the Kaiser's" territory. Indeed there are also other sublime moments of power-indie pop on this album, including the delightful The Unshockable and By The Monument.

If anything, this album reminds me of Franz Ferdinand. Not so much in terms of sound but in attitude and aesthetics. This is pop, but intelligent pop. Whilst the lyrics may, from time to time, become a little too smart for their own good, the album never loses sight of the thing that makes a great record...the tunes.

Some fans are lamenting the slight loss of edge that was prevalent on the debut, and it's clear that this is veered much more towards the mainstream. Still this album has enough, I would imagine, to make both fans of the first album and the people, like me, who were distinctly underwhelmed by A Certain Trigger happy when listening to the album.

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