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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Less guitar, more synth, same brilliance
Third album - will they get so big in sound and produced that they end up sounding stadium impersonal and lose their idiosyncratic charm in the process? I didn't really fear this, since the second album, though definitely given a different production polish from A Certain Trigger, had avoided this hurdle already. But it did make me wonder where the sound would go and how...
Published on 8 May 2009 by Shazia

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not as good as I'd hoped :(
The 3rd official offering from Maximo Park was not as good as I'd hoped. There are a couple of catchy songs, but nothing approaching the brilliance of Our Velocity, Apply Some Pressure, Girls who play guitars etc.
It's ok.
I hope the next album lives up to the reputation of the previous 2.
Published on 2 July 2009 by amliag


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the previous ones, 21 May 2009
I was so excited when my copy of Quicken the Heart arrived through the door and on the first listen I was so impressed I recommended it too all of my friends. However after a week of listening I can't help but feel the title of this album should be "My girlfriend left me I am going to sing some songs about it". Alot of the songs on the album start good but then turn into the same whining over and over again. There are a few songs i would recommend Wraithlike, The penulitimate clinch, the kids are sick again, a cloud of mystery, in another world and lets get clinical but I wouldn't bother with the rest.
The DVD is excellent - that why i gave the product 3 stars instead of 2. It was filmed at the metro arena gig in december 2007 and is maximo park at their best - playing live infront of their "home" crowd. The DVD also features interviews with the bands that gives an insight to what it was like for them playing their home crowd.
Overall I would recommend the item if you are a hardcore fan or if you were at the gig.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quicken The Heart..., 8 May 2009
By 
Lynsey Rogers (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
`Just another song, a faded memory', so sings Paul Smith on `Wraithlike', the punchy opener of Maximo Park's third long-awaited offering 'Quicken The Heart'. From the siren-fuelled urgency that haunts this track we are propelled through an evocative collection of those faded but distinct memories that make `Quicken The Heart'.

Their infectious debut `A Certain Trigger' gained them a Mercury Music Prize nomination and a place within the murky waters of indie rock, neighboured by the likes of Bloc Party and the Kaiser Chiefs. But as the indie veil of 2006 began to diminish, it became clear that Maximo Park had a greater, if slightly hidden, agenda that protested against being unfairly branded as just another formulaic act.

Their second album, `Our Earthly Pleasures', reached the dizzy heights of no. 2 in the UK album chart, and marked an almost desperate need to disassociate themselves with the assumptions of yesteryear, and rightly so. Their fan base seemed polarised by the new material, with the lukewarm at best critical reception deflating the sense of success. But `Quicken the Heart' proves that these boys aren't easily daunted, rather spurred by a need to progress and expand their sound as much as is creatively possible. Simply `trying' seems tp be something of an embarrassing concept for the majority of flighty bands and it is refreshing to witness a band with a genuine emotional and intellectual charm fuelling their sound. (But don't worry; they haven't quite progressed to their hip hop album just yet).

Like `Our Earthly Pleasures', `Quicken The Heart' marks a more mature approach to their music without losing the hooks, musical twists and lyrics that are inherently `Maximo Park'. A sense of intimacy dominates the album, with producer Nick Launay (Talking Heads, Nick Cave and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) creating a much smoother and more layered sound. From tales of listless summer holidays on first single `The Kids Are Sick Again' to the gorgeous despair of `Calm', arguably their most tender and affecting song yet, it is obvious that Maximo Park have expanded their niche and honed their charm. A post-punk energy is generated throughout the record, from the Joy Division inspired opening of `The Penultimate Clinch' to the hideously catchy dance floor filler of `In Another World (You Would Have Found Yourself By Now)'. The musical progression is abundantly clear in the melodic and precise guitar rhythms that compliment Smith's strong vocals beautifully. Furthermore, the rhythm section appears far tighter, with the interlocking and overlapping synths producing an edgier sound.

Perfection, however, is boring. `Questing, Not Coasting' feels like it never quite reaches its full potential, while closer `I Haven't Seen Her In Ages' is just a little bit too on the gentle side of things. These weaker offerings are, admittedly, still catchy, and merely blot an otherwise impressive journey of sound. Lyrically, Paul Smith's venerated approach is yet to fully lose its grip, with the observational and emotional take on everyday life woven in a heartfelt yarn, with occasional falters such as brief references to `circumnavigation' easily forgiven. `Quicken The Heart' marks a deeper engagement with their lyrical potential, providing vivid glimpses into a vast emotional landscape.

The definitive test ultimately lies in the live performances of the new material. Given their already assured reputation for a blistering and vibrant live show, their successful translation to the stage seems without a shred of reasonable doubt.

Times have indeed changed for Maximo Park. Their direction is more toned and experimental, highlighting their ability to progress without neglecting the sensibilities that made them worth listening to in the first place. It is rare in such a mercurial modern music scene to witness a band unnerved by the dreaded `third album' syndrome, but rather using it as a platform for creative exertion. This approach certainly pays off, producing an album that unfolds beautifully with every listen.

Hey, if the NME are fond of it, they must be doing something right...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic third album, 18 May 2009
By 
Mr. Matthew T. Burton (Isle of Man) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quicken the Heart (Audio CD)
I have to agree with the reviewer above. I got the album on the 13th, and 5 days later I've listened to nothing else! I've read some reviews which say that it's the same as the second album, but I really dont think it is. They have definately moved towards more synth and keyboards in this album, while retaining Paul's unforgettable sounding lyrics over the top.

Lyrically the album is fantastic. I love some of the lyrics that Paul has written for this album "If it's a grower, then why can't we take things slower" for one of them. Listening to this album transports me somewhere else, and the words and music seem to capture how I feel about certain things, which is definately one of the things I look for in an album.

Overall it is a fantastically well put together album, with some really catchy bass and synth lines in it, perfectly complemented by the guitars and Paul's voice over the top. I've been looking forward to this album for a long time, and for me it doesn't disappoint at all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Maximo Park Rock!!, 2 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Quicken the Heart (Audio CD)
Quicken the Heart is amazing. Maximo Park are incredible. Went to see them live recently and their energy to second to none. I never write reviews but am compelled to where they are concerned. All of their albums are brilliant - not least the new Too Much Information. I am unable to stop playing their music and have realised I may just be one of their biggest fans - a big thank you to may 17 year old son getting me in to them..
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very impressed, 1 May 2011
This review is from: Quicken the Heart (Audio CD)
This is a fantastic album, I especially love Questing, Not Coasting and The Kids Are Sick Again. However, I gave it 4 stars as I don't think it's as good as their first two albums. I do recommend it very highly though!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Yet!, 13 Jan 2011
I've read mixed review's about this latest offering from Maximo Park. I have to say - i think this is a brilliant album! Whilst 'Girls Who Play Guitars,' 'Our Velocity' and 'Apply Some Pressure' are classics...i found myself rocking out to every song on 'Quicken the Heart' - just like i had done with the pervious albums.
The DVD version is definately the only way to go! Once you've listened to the album, you want more!! - and with this version, you get it. The live DVD is amazing. You can feel the atmosphere right there in you living room/bedroom. Granted, it will NEVER be as good as seeing them live in person (they are unbelievable!!) but it really is something special. Also, the photographs are a nice touch!
From the energy-filled 'Wraithlike' and 'The Kids Are Sick Again' to the hypnotic melodies of 'Tanned' and 'Questing, Not Coasting,' the album caters to every fan's needs. Every Park fan will have their favourites - personally i think that nothing could touch 'Books From Boxes' (from 'Our Earthly Pleasures') - but for me 'Tanned' (from this album) comes pretty close!!
Truly another A+++ effort from the world's favourite Northern lads, definately something to keep you occupied whilst you're eagerly awaiting the 4th album that they're working on in 2011! :D
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2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing, 10 July 2009
By 
J. J. Miles (Pontefract, UK) - See all my reviews
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So looking forward to this album, but not up to the usual frenetic excellence. Just can't seem to get into it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars West Of Suez, East Of Britain, 10 Jun 2009
By 
J. A. Higgins "Owls2k" (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quicken the Heart (Audio CD)
Our Earthly Pleasures was MP's only album that anyone could say is overproduced (Or as Paul said in a recent interview, it was produced perfectly. But after doing a perfectly produced album, you have to go somewhere else), its so clean and polished. It has all the bells and whistles.

The new album combines a raw live sound with a newer and fresher sonic sound which goes right through the album, making it more of a cohesive album than any of the others. On your umpteenth listen you'll start noticing the background sounds a lot more, the sirens, the whines.

Also interesting to note there is no slow ballad on the album (Like Acrobat or Sandblasted), the reason being, after the last 2 albums where there has been a dramatic change of pace on the penultimate song on each record, the listener may be expectant of the slower paced song, so they didn't include one (I still think the beautiful 'The Beating Heart' was going to be the penultimate track on the record before they made this decision, ties in perfectly with the album. Instead it is now a b-side to forthcoming single Questing). Instead we have 'Overland, West Of Suez' as the penultimate track which, if it was without its throbbing synth would be largely comparable to 'Once A Glimpse'.

Lyric-wise the album carries on where the other two albums left off. Cheeky in places and sublime in the most part, P. Smith once again manages to paint a vivid picture whilst leaving plenty for the imagination of the listener, so hard to do in writing. To give so much emotional detail and yet have so much space for the listener to etch their own experiences and ideas onto each song, that's one of Maximo Park's biggest achievements for me.

As for the other songs on the album. 'Wraithlike' and 'Roller Disco Dreams' could slide easily onto 'A Certain Trigger' seamlessly, both have that feel of directness and angularity like so many tracks on that album. 'Penultimate Clinch' nods to Joy Division before its polished pop finish. Songs 'A Cloud Of Mystery' and 'In Another World' are both natural progressions from the last album, mystery also has one of my favourite lyrics on the album, "Bathroom lights stud the evening, where the buildings skim the air"

"I Haven't Seen Her In Ages" is a luxurious album closer but its the songs "Calm", "Let's Get Clinical" and "Tanned" that take Maximo Park into new territory, the sonic sounds of 'Calm' flies you through the 3 minutes 10 seconds so quickly, it also includes an instrumental bridge which lyrics were removed from at the last, and I think it gains a lot from it. "Let's Get Clinical" is a tongue in cheek masterpiece of lust and desire, its like nothing they've ever done and it sports quite possibly the best production of any MP song, its hard to comprehend that Paul wrote it with an acoustic guitar. "Tanned" starts with circular synths and a prominent bassline, I couldn't help but think of Muse's Bliss when I heard the start, it sounds majestic. This continues throughout, and the ending to the song is also beautiful. I love the album. "Questing, Not Coasting" is still my favourite for its pure poetry, the imagery in the song is so vivid and true. But its those 3 songs above which push Maximo to a new level.
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4.0 out of 5 stars No standout tracks., 9 Jun 2009
By 
S. Tranter (Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quicken the Heart (Audio CD)
My overall impression of the album is that it was very good.
My only issue is that I didn't feel there was any standout tracks. All the tracks were very good, but there was nothing extraordinary. The band has deffinatly taken on a good sound and if you liked in the past, then you'll probably like now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Let's get critical!, 6 Jun 2009
By 
Mr. M. F. Chadwick "pompeymega" (Guildford, Surrey UK!) - See all my reviews
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I was worried that following the first two albums(A certain trigger & Our earthly pleasures)this record would fail to deliver. Yet may concerns were not an issue, as the park have delivered another work of musical art.
This third offering adopts the more disco styling of the 1st albumn.
It combines a new sound with the type of stuff we expect from maximo park, which for me at least is a winning combination!
The first four tracks are very lively, tracks that you could rock out to with ease! The albumn then takes a less frantic tone, before picking up again towards the end.

Only a couple of the tracks on the albumn, were not big winners with me.
However I found this another great offering from a great band!
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Quicken the Heart
Quicken the Heart by Max´mo Park (Audio CD - 2009)
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