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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maximo Return With A Message, 11 Jun 2012
This review is from: The National Health (Audio CD)
You can't read the newspaper while listening to Maximo Park's new album The National Health.Complete aural attention to it is essential. Dedicated to the memory of Lee Pasfield,the band's former soundman,who tragically succumbed to brain cancer in 2009,this new album from Maximo Park is very powerful indeed.

Thirteen tracks packed with vitality,doom,heartbreak,hope,concern for the state of the country and for the world,and sonic bliss,command the listener to sit up and give their full attention to the songs.

Now somewhat matured with their sound,helped enormously by producer Gil Norton,MP stamp their musical individuality indelibly onto this album,much as they did with their debut one A Certain Trigger,back in 2005.

Lead singer Paul Smith,still only 33,has retained his position as indie music's classiest frontman,demonstrating a theatricality and vocal professionalism rare in today's crop of new(ish!) bands.

Keysman Lukas Wooller's stylish playing is a big part of the album,whilst the musical ability of guitarist Duncan Lloyd has contributed a sizeable chunk to the songs.

Tom English,the band's drummer,bolsters up the quintet with his solid drumwork-and bassist Archis Tiku is rock solid in there!

To dissect- standout tracks are:The National Health(urgent and chaotic),Write This Down(acerbic and vicious,but in a good way),Until The Earth Would Open(sad,wistful and visionary),Unfamiliar Places(yearning and poignant). I particularly liked the short intro When I Was Wild,which showcases Paul Smith's poetic talent in song.

The tracks are all very different,but joined by that slightly disturbing essence which this band are now well-known for.

The CD's cover artwork deserves a mention too.Depicting a graphically-designed black bird on a shocking pink background,it was inspired by Vorticist WW1 artist Wyndham Lewis's picture Blast.The bird can be viewed either way up and still have a meaning..."Sink or Swim"is the message of this album...take responsibility for your own life.It's in your hands.

The last two lines of the last track on the album Waves Of Fear,sum up Maximo Park's prophetic stance in the indie music scene of the 21st Century.

We're not going to leave
Until you're ready.

There are also four acoustic songs on the deluxe edition of The National Health CD.These include:

The Undercurrents(a lovely yearning track)
Hips And Lips(Lukas Wooller's piano led ballad)
Reluctant Love(heartbreaking)
Until The Earth Would Open-my current favourite of the four songs.The music to this one was written by Duncan Lloyd,the founder of Maximo Park and probably the unsung member of the band.

A surefire hit.Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Album of the year so far, 25 July 2012
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This review is from: The National Health (Audio CD)
Jut an excellent "LP" (yes i'm of an age)
Judge by quality of tracks deep into the album at 8, 9 & 10...
Top top band
& Paul Smith is a top top boy to boot

BUY
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A spectacular return to form!, 11 Jun 2012
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This review is from: The National Health (MP3 Download)
Without doubt this is Maximo Park's best album! Whilst "Our Earthly Pleasures" and "Quicken the Heart" were by no means bad, neither never quite reached the heights of a "Certain Trigger" in my opinion. In many ways "The National Health" is better. A must buy!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 9 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The National Health (Audio CD)
I loxe Maximo Park, and this CD is a belter, some really catchy gritty songs on it, and have been playing this over and over again. Really good stuff from Paul Smith et al.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Maximo park, 25 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The National Health (Audio CD)
Bought for a Christmas pressie. quick dispatch and well packed.have had no complaints or feedback from the recipient so all must be well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great album, 26 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The National Health (Audio CD)
Bought this after seeing Maximo Park in the summer, its a great album loaded with top songs, a really enjoyable listen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 21 Dec 2012
This review is from: The National Health (Audio CD)
This is by far the best album i have bought in years - and if you buy one Maximo Aalbum make it this one
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5.0 out of 5 stars Arguable their best., 30 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The National Health (Audio CD)
O.K. I'll make this quick. First up, it's not a protest album despite the title. If you've heard of Maximo Park before then there are no surprises here it's more of the same, just better. It has the quality of a greatest hits album, with no filler to waste your time. Better than their last two and as good as their first. If you're a fan you'll be happy, if you're undecided give a try, it's worth it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great album!, 16 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The National Health (Audio CD)
I bought this on the basis of a couple of songs I'd heard on the radio. I've always been aware of Maximo Park and liked the odd song but never bought anything by them. This is an excellent album all the way through and I haven't done my usual trick of over listening to just the two or so tracks that I knew before! I'm going to check out more by them now, feel like I've been missing out! I thoroughly recommend this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Passes the car test with flying colours, 19 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The National Health (Audio CD)
I always have an mp3 disc in my car with 6 albums on it (a hangover from a 6 CD multichanger) and replace albums as I get tired of them, or I need the space for new ones. I can't bring myself to remove this album, even though albums are stacking up on my computer. To me, all Maximo Park albums tend to sound the same at first listening, but hook you in somehow; this album is no exception.
Definitely passes the car test!
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