Release Date: Oct 26, 2018
Record label: Billingham
You get the impression that Paul Smith's solo ventures are less something that are supposed to evolve from album to album and more an outlet for him try his hand at whatever's interesting him during downtime between Maximo Park records. The Geordie outfit's frontman turned in a soaring, eyes-to-the-sky debut in the form of 2010's 'Margins', just when his band had stumbled on 2009's 'Quicken the Heart', and he ventured further off the beaten path when he collaborated experimentally with Peter Brewis of Field Music on 'Frozen by Sight' four years ago. A year later came the back-to-basics pop collection 'Contradictions', and now, with 'Diagrams', he's beginning to broaden his horizons again.
Lacking the immediacy of his work with Maximo Park, or indeed previous solo outings, 'Diagrams' is Paul Smith's fourth record as a solo artist, and is arguably his most distinct. Where 2015's 'Contradictions' harboured an instantaneous buoyancy that went hand in hand with Smith's personal and relatable lyricism, 'Diagrams' is less direct, somewhat more fictional and at times, more despondent. It's also however, as equally relatable and idiosyncratically romantic.