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50
4.3 out of 5 stars
Our Earthly Pleasures
Format: Audio CDChange
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2007
Buying an album on the strength of having liked just one single from it (Books From Boxes) is always a risk. It doesn't always pay off, but Our Earthly Pleasures is even better and more consistent than the quality of that single suggested. Having not heard the band's first album, I came to this one with no preconceptions or prejudices about what I was going to hear. The first two tracks, Girls Who Play Guitars and Our Velocity are full-on pop-rock, entertaining and energetic. They are followed by Books From Boxes, which is a gem of a track - but in many ways it is what happens from here on that makes this such a great album. Each successive track has either a great melodic hook, fantastic rhythmic interplay between the instruments or genuinely affecting lyrics, and often all three in combination. Standout tracks are hard to identify as the standard is so high, but By The Monument and Parisian Skies are good places to start. Overall, though, this is one of those rare records that you can just put on and play all the way through without a single duff track, where nothing outstays its welcome and you are left wanting more. Its also great to hear intelligent lyrics sung with honesty and directness in the singer's native Geordie accent - no pretending to have come from California here. I could recommend this album to just about anyone.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2007
This is simply the most listen-to-able album this year. I can happily listen to it on repeat over and over... I haven't been able to do that with an album for some time!

If you liked their previous album, A Certain Trigger, you will adore this. Lots of catchy, yet not nauseous, tunes and some truly beautiful lyrical work...

A must-buy of 2007, the soundtrack of your summer.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This is a great second album, NME slated it, but it is really very good.

I guess it is just easier to slate something than praise it. The park have managed to follow up their last album wit something cool and classy, but that just doesn't sell magazines.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2007
This album was eagerly awaited by Maximo Park's fans,including myself,and it does not disappoint.I recently went to the band's promo show at the 100 Club and was enchanted by the new songs which feature on the album-

current favourite "Books From Boxes" looks to be their next summer single.

The band have produced a tighter,more sophisticated sound on this album, with Lukas Wooller's keyboards and Paul Smith's beguiling Geordie accent still evident,it cannot fail to please.Even on such deeply emotional songs as "Your Urge",which describes a visit to a brothel,there is an underlying charm and integrity. The song is not as seedy as it sounds!

Listen to this vinyl,it will ensnare you and make you think.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I just adore this album - but not at first. It was the same with 'A Certain Trigger' which I also found to be a 'bit of a grower', but quite soon came to love (& through constant playing made the rest of my family love too!)

I think Maximo Park excell in many areas but particularly in their songwriting. They have a unique way of often seeming to stitch two or even three different songs together (as on 'Our Velocity'). Because of this I think their songs continually surprise you and have so much to discover. There's a strong hook line in every one, but it took me about 5 listens to this album right the way through for them to get inside my head. Now I simply cannot stop playing it. So if you feel the same way after one or two listens, don't give up on it.

Stand out tracks for me are 'Our Velocity' which I just put on repeat, 'Books from Boxes' which is heart-rendingly beautiful and 'The Unshockable' but I am growing to love every single song, as I did with 'A Certain Trigger'.

I just don't think there is anyone to better Maximo Park in Britain today - if your musical interests veer towards Alternative/Indie stuff you will love it. The reviewer comparing them to Franz Ferdinand was right - they have a similar intellectual angle, with intriguing & clever lyrics waiting to be discovered and appreciated. Now, I must see them live....! And then await the 3rd album.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2007
When first hearing the single 'Our Velocity' i went out and purchased the album because it was in my opinion one of the best tracks i had heard all year. There are a few songs on the album that are quality, my favorite being 'Books From Boxes' which is their 2nd single from the album. Like a lot of Indie band of late their second major album is not as good as their first album (Snow Patrol, Razorlight, Killers ect.) But with Maximo Park the success of 'A Certain Trigger' hyped up 'Our Earthly Pleasures' that bit too much, if this was their breakthough album everybody would be praising how good it is instead of comparing it to 'A Certain Trigger' and rating it down because it is just a fraction below the brilliance that is 'A Certain Trigger'.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2007
So this album got slated in NME? So what! Everybody knows what the "professional" music critics are like - quick to praise, quicker still to dismiss. One good thing about the internet and having forums like this is that their days are numbered - and they know it!

Is this better or worse than "A Certain Trigger"? Does it matter. So - okay it's not as raw, it's not as immediate, and it's not caught the imagination of critics. "A Certain Trigger" was a good album but Maximo Park have moved on and good for them.

"Our Earthly Pleasures" stands on its own. This is excellent stuff. Paul Smith's vocals continue to improve and develop as do the lyrics which ARE better than the first album. The music which accompanies the excellent songwriting is good without being staggeringly original. But this is a grower and it is full of good songs. Standout tracks are the single "Our Velocity" of course plus the excellent opener "Girls Who Play Guitars". "Books from Boxes" and "Your Urge" are also superb. There aren't any bad tracks on here and the differences between the songs become a bit clearer with further listens.

So it's not album of the year but it's plenty good enough for me. This a good attempt and much better than a lot of second albums turn out. I'd recommend it. (7/10)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2007
I am the first here to make this seemingly bold statement! i stand by my desicion, this album has more variation and is amazing for different occasions, not many albums can pull that off.

and i have to say not enough mention has been given to track 3 (books from boxes) this track is by the far the best in my opionion, its perfect for those summer bbqs yet still racey in parts and energetic like we kno so well from maximo park! amazing!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2007
Personally I wasn't a big fan of A Certain Trigger - in fact I only gave it a couple of listens before writing it off as being too brash for my taste at the time.

Based on recommendations from too many good sources, I decided to give this a go anyway and I'm damn pleased I did. This album is a superb musical achievement which combines the bizarre with the theatrical to form a thrilling event of an album. From the piledriving Velocity to the incredibly simple yet addictive Fortnights time, this albums energy will take a lot of beating

I look forward to rediscovering A Certain Trigger on the back of this album!
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on 5 August 2010
Some said not as good as the previous but they clearly didn't listen; its a direct progression and improvement. Rarely do cds have this many good tracks on it but it just keeps on delivering throughout. Intelligent and athletic, energetic and vibrant; driven by staccato guitars and Paul Smith's lyrics about collapsing relationships and the follies of youth. Special mention to the awesome Russian Literature. A gentle piano intro leads into staccato riff which is propped up by a prog-tastic guitar riff. Things build to a crescendo around the amazing life affirming choruses. There's some really tasty rhythmic stabs and turnaround too; this band is as tight as a gnatt's chuff. How many songs do you know about a couple that meet in their favourite section of the library. Biting, intelligent, high energy indie rock indeed.
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