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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 5 February 2014
Maximo Park's fifth album Too Much Information is now out on release.Originally an EP,it was decided by the band that their songs were good enough to use on a full length album. The album is a riveting piece of work and is warmly welcomed by the band's fans old,new and embryonic.

"Give,Get,Take",the first track,is a sensuous teasing song made all the more intriguing by the words "I'd forgive you anything -you are a direct inspiration,"as,in the CD's credit,leadman Paul Smith's entry "Love to Becca-you are a direct inspiration",has the listener wondering if there's a romantic connection between Becca and the love interest in "Give,Get,Take".

But I digress. Too Much Information has a poppy,upbeat feel to most of the songs,but is rescued from too much mainstream information by tracks such as the subterranean"Brain Cells" and the Jonathan Richmanesque"My Bloody Mind".

Well-produced by the band themselves and engineered by David Brewis(Field Music),Duncan Lloyd and Lukas Wooller from Maximo Park,this album is a rich mix of words and music which holds the listener's ear immediately.

It's a newish direction for the band,but thankfully that old mysterious magic that they still retain secretes itself through this album's music.

The best and most "connected" track is,in my opinion,"Leave This Island".The tune is exceptional,the instrumental backing is tight and unflawed,and the steady drumbeat (Tom English)shows how Maximo Park,at their best,can be on top of their game.
A chart success?I'm really hoping so,with this song.

"Drinking Martinis"is rather a lovely song-a sad tale of romantic loss...and "Midnight On The Hill" is another poetically-worded track with a strong backbeat."Her Name Was Audre"is a rocking tribute to black poetess Audre Lorde,perhaps not a literary figure known by everybody,but nonetheless worth singing about.

The last track "Where We're Going" has singer Paul Smith in very good voice;it's a ballad-style song with beautiful backing vocals from MP's Duncan Lloyd.

The bonus CD of cover songs is also worth hearing.I particularly liked "Northern Sky" and "I'll Be Here In The Morning",by Nick Drake and Townes Van Zandt respectively.Both very beautiful,poignant songs.

TMI is an album which appears superficial on first hearing,but in fact has many layers to it. In some ways,it's a little more heavy-going than MP's previous four albums,but that's not to criticize.Suffice it to say that MP's followers will recognize it as another triumph for the band and for their fans.

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on 5 February 2014
This should have been the follow up to Quicken the Heart as the overall feel is similar with excellent lyrics and fewer guitar songs. (The National Health should have been the 3rd album after Our Earthly Pleasures!). First few listens reveal some great songs which i'm sure will get even better with further plays. The EP with 6 cover versions (all with the MP stamp on them) is also excellent and well worth the extra couple of quid. Highly recommended.
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on 1 March 2014
I am a Maximo fan, but this album doesn't seem to have a lot going for it. Perhaps it will be a grower, but the initial impression is one of disappointment. The third and fourth albums had, in my view, seen a bit of a decline and that downward spiral continues here. However, whilst those albums still had some standout songs, nothing here immediately grabs the attention. I would suspect that, in 10 years, when they do their 20th Anniversary Tour they won't be singing many songs from this.
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Ok, I'm a Maximo Park fan, so may be bias! But this LP has the energy and quality of their Debut album. So far I've 5 star 5 songs out of 11 songs. I saw them live and they were as good live as I could of hoped for! These songs sound even better live and Paul Smiths voice is quality and what a front man!!
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on 8 April 2014
Great album , leave this island and midnight on the hill great great songs and their version of Northern sky beautiful
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on 7 March 2014
I was very pleased when I heard that Maximo Park were doing this ,their 5th album and excellent it is too. I had to buy the special one with the e.p. and it doesn't disappoint. Going to see them in Leeds soon (for the 6th time) so as you can probably tell I'm a big fan. Can't wait, I hope they play all the new stuff and throw in a few older songs too.
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on 29 October 2016
One of the greatest songwriters of the modern era.. Class act
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on 4 November 2014
Brilliant band good quality vinyl
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on 22 July 2014
Impressive return to form.
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on 17 March 2014
Well, where to start?

How about with the first single, 'Brain Cells'...Oh. What is this? Where's the tune? Sounds too different...Then there's 'Lydia, the Ink Will Never Dry'..oh dear, Maximo by numbers I fear..I'm underwhelmed.

The album is released and I take in the cover..my first impressions are that it's a poor piece of art, so I feel slightly put off, despite knowing that this band are one of the most consistently brilliant and criminally under-rated bands of the last few years..so what follows is a week or so of prevaricating and wondering whether I should buy it.

I resolve that it HAS to be bought, it's Maximo Park. I discuss with a fellow fan. He says it's a grower, I have my doubts, but take the plunge and buy the vinyl copy (which includes the CD).

A few listens...hmmmm I'm still not convinced. I stick with it. I play it a few more times and then find it's constantly on, in the car; on the ipod whilst pottering about the house. The songs begin to reveal their hidden melodies and magic and the odd snippet of lyric becomes clearer every time it's on. I find myself humming the tunes and wanting to hear it more...

The EUREKA moment hits me. This album is pure BRILLIANCE. Highlights are Leave this Island, My Bloody Mind, and Midnight on the Hill....it's Maximo Park, only they've evolved and shifted, widening their palette.

I'll never doubt them again. Too Much Information is a stunning album. Paul Smith and the band, I salute you.

Trust me; give this a chance to seep into your brain cells, it's a cracker!
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