The National Health (album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The National Health
Maxïmo Park - The National Health.jpg
Studio album by Maxïmo Park
Released 11 June 2012
Recorded Moles, Bath (2011–12)
Rockfield Studios (autumn 2011)
Genre Indie rock
Length 40:22
Label V2
Producer Gil Norton
Maxïmo Park chronology
Quicken The Heart
The National Health
Too Much Information
Singles from The National Health
  1. "Hips And Lips"
    Released: 4 June 2012
  2. "Write This Down"
    Released: 8 July 2012
  3. "The Undercurrents"
    Released: 19 August 2012
  4. "The National Health"
    Released: 21 October 2012
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 73/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[2]
BBC Music favourable[3]
Clash 4/10[4]
Daily Star 8/10[5]
The Fly 2/5 stars[6]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[7]
The Independent 4/5 stars[8]
musicOMH 3.5/5 stars[9]
NME 8/10[10]
This Is Fake DIY 5/10[11]

The National Health is the fourth studio album by English indie rock band Maxïmo Park. It was released in the United Kingdom on 11 June 2012 by V2 Records. The album was the first by the band to feature a title track. The one-minute opening track, a ballad with piano and strings, has been noted by the band as a deliberate move to disorientate the listener (previous albums have all begun with a fast-paced track, like the title track, The National Health).


The first single released from the album was "Hips And Lips" in June 2012, The album is driven by Smith's increasingly frantic mayday call: "England is sick and I'm a casualty … the daily grind, the moral wealth – a portrait of the national health!" he screeches. The song joined BBC Radio 1's 'C' list, but only reached No171 in the UK Charts. This could be simply to do with decline in popularity of Guitar Music and Indie Rock in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

"The Undercurrents" was the 2nd single released from the album in August 2012.


It received mainly positive reviews, The Guardian gave it 4 stars out of 5 calling it "energised and good fun".

NME rated it 8 out of 10, saying "The National Health', you see, is a fully ticked-off shopping list of everything that's unashamedly ace about this band, and it's all been bought from Waitrose – a change from the Tesco Value offerings of 2007's 'Our Earthly Pleasures’ and 2009's 'Quicken The Heart'. Maxïmo Park take themselves so seriously, and every song strives for heads-down greatness. 'The Undercurrents’ is the one moment they achieve it, transcending everything around it (including Smith's slightly clunky "I won't forget the way you forgive me" hook). It builds, storm-like, into something that might protrude proudly from a catalogue of the Bunnymen, of The Verve, of latter-day Manics, of any Great British Band aware that they are indeed a Great British Band. Maxïmo Park obviously aren’t, but for these brief moments the possibilities are there. It's the peak."[12]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics by Paul Smith, all music by Duncan Lloyd, except where noted.

  1. "When I Was Wild" (Lukas Wooller) – 1:02
  2. "The National Health" (Lloyd, Wooller) – 3:00
  3. "Hips And Lips" (Wooller) – 3:32
  4. "The Undercurrents" – 4:01
  5. "Write This Down" (Archis Tiku, Lloyd, Wooller) – 3:14
  6. "Reluctant Love" – 3:17
  7. "Until The Earth Would Open" – 3:17
  8. "Banlieue" – 2:51
  9. "This Is What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted" (Wooller) – 3:54
  10. "Wolf Among Men" – 2:55
  11. "Take Me Home" (Smith, Lloyd) – 2:54
  12. "Unfamiliar Places" (Smith) – 3:49
  13. "Waves Of Fear" – 2:41

– Limited Deluxe Edition with additional 4-Track-Bonus-EP:

  1. The Undercurrents (Acoustic Version)
  2. Hips And Lips (Acoustic Version)
  3. Reluctant Love (Acoustic Version)
  4. Until The Earth Would Open (Acoustic Version)


Maxïmo Park
Additional musicians
  • Beth Porter – cello on "When I Was Wild"
Technical staff


Chart (2012) Peak
Scottish Albums Chart[13] 16
UK Albums Chart[14] 13


  1. ^ "The National Health – Maximo Park". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Phares, Heather. "The National Health – Maxïmo Park". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Pia, Camilla (1 June 2012). "Review of Maxïmo Park – The National Health". BBC Music. BBC Online. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  4. ^ James, Gareth (11 June 2012). "Maximo Park – The National Health". Clash. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Earls, John (11 June 2012). "Maximo Park – The National Health: Album Review". Daily Star. Northern & Shell Media Publications. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  6. ^ Renshaw, David (8 June 2012). "Maximo Park – 'The National Health'". The Fly. MAMA Group. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  7. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (7 June 2012). "Maximo Park: The National Health – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Price, Simon (10 June 2012). "Album: Maxïmo Park, The National Health (V2/Coop)". The Independent. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  9. ^ Headon, Martin. "Maxïmo Park – The National Health". musicOMH. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  10. ^ Fullerton, Jamie. "Maximo Park – 'The National Health'". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  11. ^ Forward, Kyle. "Maximo Park – The National Health". This Is Fake DIY. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "2012 Top 40 Scottish Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. 23 June 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "2012 Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. 23 June 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2012.