Year 4, Day 24: Maxïmo Park – Our Earthly Pleasures
- Girls Who Play Guitars
- Our Velocity
- Books from Boxes
- Russian Literature
- Karaoke Plays
- Your Urge
- The Unshockable
- By the Monument
- A Fortnight’s Time
- Sandblasted and Set Free
- Parisian Nights
About the Album
Our Earthly Pleasures is the second studio album from English alternative rock band, Maxïmo Park. The album was recorded from April to December of 2006 and released April 2nd 2007 through Warp Records.
Thoughts on the Album
We used to talk about girls who play guitars… we used to talk about plans in tiny bars
Those are the words to the the first chorus of Maxïmo Park‘s, Girls Who Play Guitars. The track is a fun track to jam out to and sing along to. The track itself can be found on today’s album, Our Earthly Pleasures. It’s the second album from Newcastle, England natives Maxïmo Park. I remember picking up this album in high school, it was one of my first introductions to alternative rock music… and from then my taste in music has never been the same.
But I digress, there will be time to talk about philosophy later. The album is led by lead single Our Velocity, a track that is fronted by hypnotic keys. It’s intense and technically brilliant as pop/rock singles go; it shifts tempo constantly and combines with a four part rhythmic harmony. Lead singer Paul Smith croons,
Love is a lie, which means I’ve been lied to,
love is a lie, which means I’ve been lying too…
What makes this album a great album and what it is, is the clean and amazing production from producer Gil Norton. Where as the band’s previous release, A Certain Trigger, was messy garage rock, Our Earthly Pleasures is entirely more bombastic and grandiose. Norton did a hell of a job coaxing out arena filling rock sound with bigger choruses, crunchier yet precise guitar riffs, and keyboard lines that just jump right out at you.
Tracks like Girls Who Play Guitars, Our Velocity, and By the Monument jump from one extreme to the next, with brutally brilliant and dynamic tempo shifts. Russian Literature starts off slowly and softly with piano before it gradually builds and the unbuilds before exploding at the finish. The lyrics are impressive too, as frontman Paul Smith seemingly slips in one-liners everywhere… like Books from Boxes.
I feel the weight upon your kiss ambiguous
Or Your Urge
Empty words so free of connotations- all dreams come to an end
Our Earthly Pleasures is a dense album at 12 tracks and over 41 minutes in length. I thought some of the tracks could have been cut, but with tracks like Girls Who Play Guitars, Our Velocity, Books from Boxes, Russian Literature, and By the Monument, you really can’t go wrong with this album. This album is peak mid-2000s rock from the English Isles: jangling guitars, driving drums, bouncing bass lines, and technically sound and dynamic keyboard passages.