Maximo Park Quicken the Heart

Despite my ambivalence towards a lot of their music, and my total ignorance of their sophomore album, there are two things I've always liked about Maximo Park: the way they play with language and Paul Smith's broad Geordie accent. Both these things are present in abundance on their third LP, so it grabs me from the start. It's a more rounded effort than A Certain Trigger, moving away from the singles-and-filler formula to push ideas of intelligence and sensitivity. "Waiflike things that quicken the heart," a line from which the song and album titles are taken, is without a doubt the most affecting, outlining perfectly the band's current preoccupations. This is not only a great third release it's one of those albums that makes you want to revisit their older stuff to see what you've been missing all this time. (Warp)