Maxïmo Park – Too Much InformationCultureMusicAlbum reviews
Kaiser Chiefs’ Ricky Wilson is a judge on The Voice. Radio 1 has been playing Moving to New York to remind everyone who The Wombats are before the release of their new album. The noughties are over, no one cares about the wave of spiky teen-oriented rock that filled the airwaves back then. As people have moved on, so have Maxïmo Park. Singer Paul Smith’s voice is softer and mellower – as are the songs on this new album.
The synth bleeps that open the album are a sign of things to come, even if the rest of the first track Give, Get, Take has the pounding drums and guitars that have characterised Maxïmo Park in the past. There’s something almost desperate in Smith’s voice as the song rises to a climactic end. This mood is immediately undercut by the slow, electro-driven and bassy Brain Cells, altogether moodier and, along with much of the rest of the album, quite 80s.
Several songs conjure up vivid scenes, grizzled and grey landscapes, especially the almost anthemic Drinking Martinis and Leave This Island – the high point of the album – whose echoing vocals and synth beat bring a touching, reflective quality to the album and cement its sombre tone. In all, the album starts much more interestingly than it ends and the songs become less refined, less well built.
The decline in demand for spunky, summer alt-rock has given Maxïmo Park a bit more freedom to spread their wings. So we get a lot more synthesiser, a lot more melancholy and some pretty obscure literary shout-outs. But they have avoided emulating the new wave of electro-pop, sounding more like the retro analog blips of 80s electronica, Depeche Mode in all their glory. And the mature, earnest result show that this is no bad thing.
Too Much Information was released on 3rd February 2014, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Leave This Island here: