Contradictions by Paul Smith and the Intimations review – vivid imagery


Newcastle’s Maximo Park stood out among the glut of British guitar bands that came to prominence a decade ago thanks to lyrics that suggested frontman Paul Smith had spent his youth reading books, as opposed to engaging in petty crime like some of his peers. That literary sense extends to his second solo album, with vivid imagery illuminating these 13 songs. Musically, there’s a loose, relaxed feel, the likes of All the Things You’d Like to Be sounding oddly summery, even as Smith sings of “office blocks of asbestos rocks”. But without the tension created by the jerky guitar riffs of Smith’s day job, too much of the material here, particularly towards the album’s end, drifts by forgettably.

Watch Break Me Down, from Contradictions by Paul Smith and the Intimations


Phil Mongredien

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Paul Smith and Peter Brewis: Frozen by Sight review – peculiarly riveting
This intriguing Maxïmo Park/Field Music collaboration weaves the detail of everyday life into a subtle whole, writes Harriet Gibsone

Harriet Gibsone

13, Nov, 2014 @10:10 PM

American Interior review – Gruff Rhys's vivid and exhilarating journey
Gruff Rhys's latest project celebrates 18th-century explorer John Evans with humour and pathos, writes Ally Carnwath

Ally Carnwath

03, May, 2014 @11:05 PM

Article image
Paul Smith and the Intimations review – from rip-roaringly funny to oddly touching
The Maximo Park frontman leads an intimate, surreal live-wire event

Dave Simpson

06, Sep, 2015 @4:41 PM

Article image
Maximo Park: Risk to Exist review – tub-thumping with soul
(Cooking Vinyl)

Emily Mackay

23, Apr, 2017 @7:00 AM

Article image
Morrissey – review

As rioting grips the capital, Morrissey ends his UK tour with Smiths classics, a Lou Reed cover... but no 'Panic', writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

13, Aug, 2011 @11:05 PM

Article image
Kasabian – review

A hint of psychedelia and fondness for theatrics lift Kasabian above their lad-rock peers, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

18, Dec, 2011 @12:06 AM

Suede: Bloodsports – review
Suede's first album in 11 years is a partial return to form, writes Phil Mongredien

Phil Mongredien

17, Mar, 2013 @12:02 AM

Birdy: Birdy – review
The YouTube sensation who announced her arrival with a startling Bon Iver cover now takes on the xx and James Taylor, writes Hermione Hoby

Hermione Hoby

06, Nov, 2011 @12:05 AM

Article image
The Horrors – review

Live, the Horrors attempt to bridge the chasm between garage rock and rave. They almost succeed, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

15, Oct, 2011 @11:07 PM

Diiv: Oshin – review
Brooklyn's Diiv transcend dream-pop thanks to their Krautrock leanings, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

30, Jun, 2012 @11:05 PM