Sound — 9
Grafiti was the first song I heard from this band, on Top Of The Pops way back in 2005 I think. The song didnt hit me initially, but the line "I'll do grafiti, If you sing to me in French," is so memorable, I instantly recognised the band when I heard the song I fell in love with, Apply Some Pressure. The song starts with crunching guitars, and snappy lyrics coming out the wazoo, but its the chorus that sets this song apart. Swirling with charm and intreague the synth sets it up nicely for the next tracks. They come thick and fast, and they are all superb. The guitar is always complimented beautifully by appropriate bass lines and keys. What they do so well is make themselves sound so individual, when you may look at the line up and expect the same as any other band, a terrific achievement.
Lyrics — 10
Lyrically, Maximo Park are top draw, really top draw. Paul Smiths nothern accent tells the ten or so different stories, in a tone of voice that simply cant be bettered; It is so well suited to the words sung. Word wise, there is simply no better than Postcard of a Painting. To write a song so strongly aimed at an individual, that doesn't come across as pretencious, requires a subtlety that I rarely hear. Dispite all this, the message is still crystal clear. "I wrote my feelings down in a rush, I didn't even check the spelling. I'll admit there's a web, but it wasn't me who spun it," it's all brilliant.
Overall Impression — 10
This is one of my favorite albums I have ever listened to. Maximo park have not only musicaltalent, but also a seriousflair for song writing, something many modern pop-rock bands sorely lack. Every song here is outstanding, though if I had to pick the best of the best, I would side with the track, 'I want you to stay.' Here, the guitar takes more of a back seat and the bass and the almost robotic sounding synth take over. Once more the lyrics are top class, subtle yet totally to the point. What really sets this track up is the final build towards the ending. This truely is spine tingling stuff. The guitar really comes in here and every layer of sound is perfect, including some flawless vocals, from Smith that are damn near impossible to recreate, "You know the way I feel," is so simple, yet so powerful and emotional, and very easy to relate to. Thats what makes this album great, no matter what your situation, there is something here that you will take solice from. There, quite simply, is no finer.