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maximopark naturealwayswins
Artist: Maximo Park
Title: Nature Always Wins
Genre: Indie Pop
Release Date: 26th February 2021
Label: Prolifica

Album Review

People love to pontificate about how, after a nuclear disaster, there will still be rats everywhere, and fungus, and moss, and we can rely on the common cockroach to continue creeping about in cracks and doing whatever it is they do. Even when it’s negative, there’s a strange kind of comfort in reliability. And sure enough, when times get tough, life starts to drag, and there’s, you know, a plague or something going on, out pops a new MAXIMO PARK album, and all the world seems strangely balanced again. Like a cup of tea and a Jaffa cake, MAXIMO PARK offer something essentially English time and again - a comforting familiarity edged with the burning questions of the day, such as how can a cake actually be a biscuit? But seriously, their endearing and enduring bouncy pop has always shouldered intelligent and political lyrics, laced with social comment and keen, sharp observations. And you can never have too much of that going on.

‘Partly Of My Making’ leaps straight in to confound expectations, holding back the usual exuberance and managing to sound like late-period MARILLION by the chorus, with all kinds of nifty little about-turns going on. It’s like three songs in one, yet is entirely coherent. And brilliant. ‘Versions Of You’ gently wafts in, building up to a summery yet earnest chorus, and there’s plenty trademark regional accent madness warbling about on ‘Baby sleep’, like a Geordie THE PROCLAIMERS. Sparkling pop on ‘Placeholder’ and the slightly zany ‘All Of Me’ rub shoulders with spiky new-wave skinny-tie bounce ‘Ardour’ and the restrained and eccentrically pretty ‘Meeting Up’. It’s certainly all bursting with fresh ideas.

There’s always a bit of MAXIMO PARK-default-setting shunted into their albums, but even those tracks are short, sweet and impossible to dislike. See ‘Why Must A Building Burn’. But always that odd angle, that skewed lyric or unexpected direction to keep things bubbling along nicely. ‘Feelings I’m Supposed To Feel’ is gorgeous, and has the loopiness of primetime JAMES. And final track ‘Child Of The Flatlands’, at just over 5 minutes in length, is almost an epic by MAXIMO PARK standards. It’s a quirky, sophisticated swagger through classic British psych-pop.

And so back they go, back to wherever the good, the bad and the ugly hide in-between times, back to their own unique little world. Until we need them again, and out they will come, to reassure and comfort us, and continue making this wonderful, intelligent life-affirming pop music.


01. Partly Of My Making
02. Versions Of You
03. Baby sleep
04. Placeholder
05. All Of Me
06. Ardour
07. Meeting Up
08. Why Must A Building Burn
09. I Don’t Know What I’m Doing
10. The Acid Remark
11. Feelings I’m Supposed To Feel
12. Child Of The Flatlands


Paul Smith – Vocals
Duncan Lloyd – Guitar / Keyboards
Tom English – Drums

Website /

Cover Picture

maximopark naturealwayswins


Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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