Album: Maxïmo Park, Quicken the Heart, (Warp Records)

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The Independent Culture

Paul Smith's erudite vocab (you don't get words such as "circumnavigation" with the Kooks) is a minor joy itself, but his way with a subtly perceptive couplet ("She's dressed up/It's her duty to the town") is far more precious.

However, fist-punching choruses are absent, and awkward, lurching time signatures abound. It often sounds strangely half-formed, like a clutch of demos rather than a band at the height of their powers. Glass-half-full assessment: an album that'll grow, rather than a band that's shrinking.

Pick of the album: Doctors and nurses: 'Let's Get Clinical'