Album: Paul Smith, Margins (Billingham Records)

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The Independent Culture

The first three words are "My private heart...", and that's about the size of it: Paul Smith's first solo album lacks the giddy momentum of a Maximo Park record, and is a far more introspective beast.

Released on a label named after Smith's home town, Margins is intimate and localised stuff. The feel is fingersqueaky, and the use of words such as "denouement" flatters its audience. At no point is it a chore, but nor do you feel compelled to batter your friends' doors down imploring them to hear it.

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