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Reviews Written by
juliet R "Juli" (London,UK)

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On An Island
On An Island
Price: £9.99

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moods In Blue, 14 April 2006
This review is from: On An Island (Audio CD)
A very spiritual thread runs through this highly professional selection from David Gilmour. This languid,sleepy album with tinges of Floyd takes the listener into another world,blue-tinged and fringed with palm-trees,which is the album's intention. If there's a fave track on this for me,it's"This Heaven" with its profoundly thankful lyrics:

"Life is much more than money buys

When I see the faith in my children's eyes"

and its slow rock beat,backed by Phil Manzanera's stylish keyboards and Gilmour's perfect guitar.Possibly the most polished album of the year so far.

"Where We Start"- a charming,slow track with very pleasant warm lyrics. No angst or soul-searching here. This is an album of contented music,from a man who has come to terms with life.

"Take A Breath" is fast becoming a favourite,with lyrical and compelling guitars and emotive lyrics-

"This kind of love is hard to find

I never got to you by being kind

If I'm the one to throw you overboard

At least I showed you how to swim for shore."

If its musical sanctuary you want,buy this album.It will give you very sweet dreams.

Missing Songs
Missing Songs
Price: £10.75

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Songs To Remember, 14 April 2006
This review is from: Missing Songs (Audio CD)
This album is a collection of nine tracks(B sides and non-LP) plus three original demo versions,comprising a real patchwork quilt compilation from Maximo Park. Raw,intense(particularly the opening track "A19")and very new 60s and 70s influenced,these songs from Britain's most exciting new band(some would say that was open to debate)were the blueprint for greater things....

On "A19",a driving guitar intro fuels sharp intense lyrics and Paul's voice on top urgent form. Some extraordinary and very original use of words("dull metal moans",describing metal railings);also I've never heard his voice sound so amazing,dramatic and in its intensity,encompassing desperation,hopelessness,cynicism and a strong dash of "angry young man" syndrome. Driving guitar,Lukas Wooller's keyboards and drumwork back up these vocals, in an extremely compelling song which describes the writer's factual and lyrical journey down the A19 towards a better future.

This song hooked me straight away on first hearing. There is a prophesy within the last verse which seems to signify no change for anyone.Powerful lines to think on,a very clever observation.

A beckoning start to this album and it doesn't stop there.

Other tracks on this compilation include "Isolation",Maximo's minute and a half(approx) of John Lennon's lament. I sensed Lennon's ghost appearing fleetingly in the lyrics for about 30 seconds. A track to make you think.

Further memorable tracks include "A Year Of Doubt"-very 60s influenced with a jolly bouncy tune and jangly guitar,but the words carry cynicism.The combination of the two makes interesting listening. Much influence from Morrissey here,but without his agonising morbid depressive attitude. In fact this song has been given very positive treatment. Witty,lively,cheerful through the gloom,it stands up as one of the best songs on the album.

"Stray Talk" is my favourite track on here. It is a lovely acoustic ballad,with beautiful well-rounded solo guitar accompaniment to Paul's solo voice singing a la McCartney,standing up adequately without extra instrumental backing.(It reminded me of "Blackbird" in places). A yearning,charming,articulate delivery on this one.

This song perhaps shows off Paul's vocal talent more than any other and is melodic,witty and bittersweet.

The demo tracks include Maximo's best-known song,"Apply Some Pressure",their rallying-cry to motivation.It still sounds as urgent as it did on "Trigger",if not more so. I almost prefer this more primitive-sounding version to the later polished-up one on "ACT". A very charming version which ends with a hi-hat and a flourish.

"Graffiti", another included demo track with its involved guitars and drums intro,then Paul's voice drifting in with those lyrics. The now almost legendary lines "I'll do graffiti........" still sound as fresh now as they did on "Trigger."The most misconstrued lyrics in pop,perhaps? Well,they've put Maximo on the map,sparking off much controversy,that's for sure. Nice "wall of sound" backup from the band,and ending with lots of harmonious vocals. All together now.........

"Once,A Glimpse" still my favourite Park song,I have to admit.A cornucopia of lyrics and Paul's voice adding its usual passion and charisma,his rich accent very evident.

To sum up,"Missing Songs",while not possessing "Trigger"'s pop style,theatrical slickness and drama,sweeps a refreshing breeze throughout;finally I would say that there are so many good tunes here that sometimes it's hard to choose between them all.

This album carries a rawer energy,powerful hooks and that urgency which is so unique to the Park's music.

Irreplaceable,memorable and deserving of a firm stamp on rock music's history,these songs go very deep.

John Lennon would have totally approved.

Submitted by Juliet R

A Certain Trigger
A Certain Trigger
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.69

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Gold, 10 April 2006
This review is from: A Certain Trigger (Audio CD)
This album first came to my notice in October 2005,when it had in fact been released earlier in May. I had seen Maximo Park on Jools Holland's "Later" and enjoyed their performance.They seemed to stand alone amongst other pop rock/art rock bands.I thought I would like to buy their debut CD"A Certain Trigger" and I finally did so in the early autumn,not knowing what to expect. I was even unsure whether I would like the tracks.
How wrong was I?? From the moment the CD hit my player I was instantly hooked by the opening drum and guitar bars of the first track "Signal and Sign."This anthem to changing life direction and getting motivated awoke my interest and lit the blue touchpaper for the rest of the album. Definite and direct,it sets the tone for the other twelve songs on the album.
From then on I never looked back. There isn't a dull,dud or depressing track on this album. It speeds along with the urgency of a train heading to its destination. It has a message for everyone.
Frontman Paul Smith has a distinctive rock voice. It is one that HAS to be listened to. At times it can just border on the light operatic,and there is plenty of melody there. Emotion runs high throughout his vocal delivery and as for his Geordie accent,it adds masses of charm and at times lends a dangerous edge to the words and music.
Tracks such as"Apply Some Pressure",which urge the listener to rethink,if things in life go wrong.The keyboards chorus is a very catchy one,with jangly piano chords,backing organ and a driving guitar and drum rhythm.
Other standout songs include "Graffiti",which concentrate on the recurring theme of provincial boredom and personal daring(intriguing stuff)-"Going Missing" which is a wonderful song.
Ringing guitarwork accompany the chorus in this one,and we feel the sadness and personal loss experienced by the singer.
One to bring tears to the eyes,but the upside is that the chorus is immensely singable.
Further notable tracks include "I Want You To Stay" which strikes a resounding chord. It's bittersweet,anguished and sad. But there's not a jot of depression in this track. In fact the lines of this song send shivers down the spine.
And then there's my personal favourite "Once,A Glimpse". Dramatic,desperate,highly-charged,intensely emotional,it contains the album's title line. Paul's vocals are as powerful as ever,not quite understanding why it has all gone wrong again emotionally. If high drama is your bag,this song will do it for you.
I could go on, but let's just say that,if you haven't already added ACT to your Millennium album collection, then it's not too late to do so. Its songs will steal their way into your heart and leave your ears wanting to hear more music from this remarkably talented band.
I recently learned that album sales for ACT went past Silver in 2005.
In my opinion,they are Pure Gold.

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