Sound — 9
Missing Songs was intended as a CD of b-sides to be sold in countries where albums cost too much, and thus extend the bands presence across the world. The result wasn't anything like I expected, and of course it make much more sense than buying the indivivual singles. The sound on the album is old Maximo Park (pre-Our Earthly Pleasures), and really does sound like the younger brother of A Certain Trigger.
Lyrics — 10
Paul Smith (yet again) has problems with girls, and thus compiles all his love notes into these songs whilst still putting in bizarre references to art, architecture and nature ("Paint is repelled and bronze grips hard/I can't touch such an ugly surface"). Everything flows perfectly with Duncan Lloyd's melodic guitars and Lukas Wooler's sharp yet infrequent keys. One of the reasons I love the Park so much is that I live just a few miles away from Smith's native Billingham, and it's nice to hear his fantastic Teesside accent in between those of posh London kids and Scots.
Overall Impression — 9
I really do like this album, even if it doesn't quite match up to A Certain Trigger and Our Earthly Pleasures, although for an album of b-sides you don't really expect it to. My only complaints about this album are the three demo's on it, Apply Some Pressure, Going Missing and Once, A Glimpse. The sound quality on them are very basic, and even though they are memorable songs I feel like they don't really belong on this CD. I have a tendency to press skip when it comes to Isolation (a John Lennon cover), as the song is quite repetitive and boring, however the rest of the album lifts it. A19 is a fantastic opener, and the jolly dance of A Year Of Doubt is very uplifting. It really is worth buying if you're a big Park fan, and if you want to get a taste of them, this is a good CD to buy. It won't cost you as much, but it really does showcase their sound.