Maxïmo Park - 'Nature Always Wins'

7/10

Despite cementing themselves as a dominant force within the scene in their earliest beginnings, Maxïmo Park haven't had the easiest time in recent years. After a string of so-so releases that kept them afloat but still far from the heady heights of their heyday, the group began to fracture. First with the departure of bassist Archis Tiku in 2014, and more recently keyboardist Lukas Wooller in 2019, leaving just a trio of original members to carry the legacy on. But while the writing seemed firmly on the wall, they return with their seventh studio album 'Nature Always Wins', a strong and positive return to form.

What first made them such an interesting group at the start was their unique creativity in a sound that seemed oversaturated at the time. The irreverence and inventive qualities they first displayed seem to have come back in glimmers on this new collection, showing us that the creative spark is far from diminished at this stage. While it may not be their most confident and daring release of their legacy, 'Nature Always Wins' has this endearing appeal to it that sees them persevere in a more matured light, and deliver a record that doesn't feel like they are scrambling for experimental ideas.

In all, 'Nature Always Wins' is a firm and distinguished addition to their repertoire to date. They may now be pushing to extend the latter half of their career at this point, but at least they are still pursuing that same dream we first saw in them and continue to find new ways to impress us after all this time.

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