The National Health

The National Health Image
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: Political issues influenced the fourth album from the indie rock band and was produced by Gil Norton.
  • Record Label: V2 Records
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. 88
    A no-frills, consistently engaging album with heart - and hooks - to spare.
  2. Jun 12, 2012
    80
    It's potent stuff.
  3. Jun 19, 2012
    80
    On The National Health, Smith and the rest of the band seem revitalized by the time off, delivering some of their catchiest and widest-ranging songs since their debut, A Certain Trigger.
  4. Aug 28, 2012
    67
    Highlights, as usual, are complemented by weaker retreads.
  5. Jun 18, 2012
    60
    The National Health gives the likeable quintet a firm footing from which to stop their seemingly inevitable decline.
  6. Jun 13, 2012
    60
    It boasts some of the band's most emotionally charged material, but just like all their efforts, it requires bearing some stiff, docile guitar melodies to discover some of its finer points.
  7. Jun 8, 2012
    40
    Initially it is exciting – the title track and 'Hips And Lips' pack a visceral punch – however, repeat plays reveal that 'The National Health' offers nothing particularly new.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jun 26, 2012
    8
    After being left pretty disappointed "Quicken The Heart", this latest record delivers the quality and quantity of up tempo brilliance I saw inAfter being left pretty disappointed "Quicken The Heart", this latest record delivers the quality and quantity of up tempo brilliance I saw in their debut album, composed with some wondrous song writing and pace shifting.

    The National Health contains what is arguably the best Maximo Park track Paul Smith has ever written in "The Undercurrents", as well as another particularly stand out track in "Banlieue" - which perfectly combines Maximo Park's historic modern rock prowess, with their more recent electronic emphasis.

    Whilst it won't be held in the same reverence as "A Certain Trigger", for me personally it is easily their second greatest accomplishment, and a brilliant record.
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  2. Jun 19, 2012
    5
    When Maximo Park began making waves amidst a sea of indie guitar bands, with 'A Certain Trigger', they seemed to defy their relativeWhen Maximo Park began making waves amidst a sea of indie guitar bands, with 'A Certain Trigger', they seemed to defy their relative awkwardness with an unending energy that made them a new and exciting band. Some of the lyrics were undeniably angular compared to the blander offerings of their contemporaries but that didn't detract from their charm even if it did hold them back from higher sales. The simple truth is that the tunes were there, and surely they'd grow into the role as their crowds grew bigger?

    Each subsequent album has done its best to shake that certainty. Something from the less-than-stellar review in the NME of 'Our Earthly Pleasures' sticks in the mind.. where a recurring theme "seems to be, er, town and country planning." The 'Park haven't stuck to this sole obsession but nevertheless, the tunes have become blander, the lyrics more awkward and inaccessible, the themes colder. They don't sound like they're really having fun and neither does this listener. Maximo Park have gone from being a favourite band to one that seems stubbornly insistent on occupying the rare genre (at the time of writing at least) of the geek chic that just isn't cool.

    'The National Health' is unfashionable, without clear vision and defiantly impossible to like - perhaps like a pair of NHS glasses then, suiting the album's title to a T. You almost get the sense that the band would be happy with that comparison, but it only makes me miss 'A Certain Trigger' all the more.
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