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The Courage Of Others

Midlake Audio CD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
Price: 7.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Amazon's Midlake Store

Music

Image of album by Midlake

Photos

Image of Midlake

Biography

An antiphon is a call-and-response style of singing, from Gregorian chants to sea shanties. In the case of Denton, Texas’ favorite sons Midlake, it’s the perfect title for a bold response to a new phase in the band’s illustrious career, with a re-jigged line-up and a newly honed sound as rich and symphonic as it is dynamic and kaleidoscopic.

Anyone who knows ... Read more in Amazon's Midlake Store

Visit Amazon's Midlake Store
for 11 albums, 6 photos, discussions, and more.

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The Courage Of Others + The Trials Of Van Occupanther + Antiphon
Price For All Three: 20.89

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Feb 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bella Union
  • ASIN: B002USUJCE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,764 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Acts of Man
2. Winter Dies
3. Small Mountain
4. Core of Nature
5. Fortune
6. Rulers, Ruling All Things
7. Children of the Grounds
8. Bring Down
9. The Horn
10. The Courage of Others
11. In The Ground

Product Description

BBC Review

Sometimes it takes a certain mindset to fully appreciate the charms of an act who, while universally revered and seemingly of no little sonic allure, still leave your critical faculties cold amid intense fanfare.

So it was with Midlake, and this reviewer, around the time of 2006's The Trials of Van Occupanther. All the right reference points were, and still are, there: space-rockers Grandaddy, epoch-definers Radiohead, the various charms of dads' favourites Fleetwood Mac – who have undergone something of a resurgence in popularity of late, at least among journalists – and prog-rock pioneers King Crimson.

While The Courage of Others is no great sea change in stylistic terms, as a body of work it possesses a conviction and power hitherto lacking, or, at least, undetected by these ears. Perhaps finding mass appeal has given Tim Smith and his band-mates the confidence to take their ideas into darker, brooding waters, and further harness the influence of classic British prog-folk. But whatever the motivation, it's a mood that suits.

This is serious music, certainly, but it skilfully avoids that oft-suffered pitfall of po-facedness by marrying virtuosity in playing with a deep sense of feeling in the delivery. When Smith sings, "When the acts of man cause the ground to break open / Oh, let me inside / Let me inside / Not to wait," barely a minute into yearning opener Acts of Man, he's delivering the first of The Courage of Others' many hair-prickling moments. There's barely a track here that doesn't harbour at least one – be it from a soaring flute passage (Acts of Man), twinkling acoustic (Fortune) or fizzing electric solo (Winter Dies).

Midlake won't ever be a 'cool' name to drop. They're the kind of band who'll prompt your parents to tell you about all the fun they had in the 60s, and dig out their Fairport Convention LPs because “If you like this, you'll love that”. It doesn't matter, of course: The Courage of Others is a lovely, lovely record that doesn't sound like it belongs in this age at all. It's all the better for it. --Rob Webb

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Product Description

DISC 11. ACTS OF MAN2. WINTER DIES3. SMALL MOUNTAIN4. CORE OF NATURE5. FORTUNE6. RULERS, RULING ALL THINGS7. CHILDREN OF THE GROUNDS8. BRING DOWN9. THE HORN10. THE COURAGE OF OTHERS11. IN THE GROUND

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Midlake - A courageous or foolhardy third album? 18 Jan 2010
By Red on Black TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
After the reading the review of Midlake's "The courage of others" in Uncut you would inevitably approach this third album by the melodic Texan soft rockers with some trepidation. Phrases like "strangely frigid" and "cold" are scattered throughout and there is some lamenting about the overwhelming influence of English folk rock. Personally if any band want to plunder the works of Fairport Convention, Pentangle or Nick Drake for inspiration it sounds like a wonderful prospect particularly if the band as good as Midlake.

When it comes to Midlake you know the story. In 2006 this band led by Tim Smith released the beguiling "Trials of the Van Occupanther" with its influences drawn from Grandaddy, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young and the Flaming Lips and with lush, harmony-laden ballads like "Head Home", "We gathered in spring" combined with truly wonderful melodic rockers such as "Roscoe" (check out the recent fantastic cover by Ellie Goulding). It marked a huge departure from the patchy psychedelia of their debut "Bamnan and Slivercork" and with TV on the Radio's "Cookie Mountain" and Band of Horses great debut it was easily one of the best albums of that year.

So are the good folks at Uncut right, is "The Courage of others" a misstep following the stellar highpoint of "Trials"? Before answering lets check those influences. It is true there is something slightly medieval about some of the songs on "Courage" but "Trials" was also underpinned by a rustic back-to-nature quality and had something of the "ancient" about it. This is also a much more guitar driven album albeit it is much darker and wintry than its predecessor. As such its perfect soundtrack to the UKs recent snowy landscape.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Yet 11 April 2010
By Twippy
Format:Audio CD
Like many others I wasn't blown away on my initial listen and though, after about 10 plays, it had grown to be a really good album I still preferred 'Trials of....then something magical happened. The subtleties and nuances hidden in the tracks revealed themselves in all there majestic glory and now I can hardly go a day without listening to it.
Only really great albums take you to another level just when you think you've drained vereything out of them. Perservere, and you might, like me, think this one of the best records of the last 20 years. It's worth it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 5 Jan 2011
Format:Audio CD
Beards. They seem to be everywhere. American musicians show them off with regular ease. The thoughtful man's stress reliever is having unparallel success of late. E, perhaps the most iconic of them all, has released several key albums over the last few years, Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes breaking through with critically acclaimed albums of late, Sea Sick Steve and his well received live shows, and yes, and those sexually transmitted diseased nashvillians kings of leon have gone supernova. And even us brits have offered Susan Boyle to the equation. Beards. And now Midlake have arrived beards and all, with an absolute stunner of a record, the `courage of others'.

I actually saw midlake live before I heard the new album, normally live shows suffer for me as a result of not knowing the songs in some regard. But the songs of midlake third album are really strong, and have a distinct sound that is memorable. And when hearing these songs on the album, I could see where they were musically, and what they are trying to achieve with this record. I can understand criticisms where reviewers have stated the album sounds samey, but that live and studio connection really shows. Each song is terrifically deep in arrangement, conceived by a range of musicians at the top of the game, resulting in 40 minutes that is a pleasure to listen to. Whereas the Trials of Van Occupanther incorporated the lighter side of led zeppelin, the courage of others claims hold of a much deeper folk connection to the likes of nick drake, and jethro tull and the arrangements show this, the album is dark and brooding, rustic, and tactile, but without letting it get in the way of Tim Smiths strong metaphorical lyrics, that really shape what each song is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A serious grower... 6 Dec 2010
Format:Audio CD
The Courage of Others is a fantastic album. While i can understand come people finding it a difficult listen, especially after the comparatively hook-laden Trails of Van Occupanther, there is much richness therein. Granted, "Fortune" is the only variation tempo-wise (though I think we'd struggle to call it "upbeat") and the rest of the album is has a fairly plodding and unrelenting rhythm. And It's fair to say that, had I not been such a fan of Van Occupanther, I may not have given it the time I have. But after several months of listening now, I've found that its its rewards are deep and moving. It's a properly emotionally engaging experience: occasionally bleak and depressing, at other times uplifting and hopeful.

I'd urge anyone that enjoyed Van Occupanter to keep trying with this one.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Third Album 2 Feb 2010
By Mr. Peter Steward TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
There is a thematic feel to Midlake's third album - an album four years in the making. It is undeniable that the roots of this album lie in British Progressive folk rock with more than a nod to the likes of Jethro Tull (at times lead singer Tim Smith uses the same phrasing as Ian Anderson) and the Strawbs. Ultimately this is an album by a letter day band of hippies who seem to have stepped straight out of the 1970s. This could have been played at Woodstock. But there is still a progressive feel to it, although most of the songs are very similar.

In some ways that adds to its attraction as it should be listened to as a whole - as if it's a song cycle or indeed just one long song (as Tull said Life's a long song). It's hard to see whether Midlake have taken a step forward or a step forward and two back. That said it is a glorious evocation of the countryside with Smith's plaintiff vocals threatening to soar but staying in check. The overall feel is one of heady atmosphere. This is intelligent folk/rock. It may not be as easily accessible as Van Occupanther, but there are many beautiful moments.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
My brother played me one of their albums as I was unaware of them and I have been following them ever since
Published 4 months ago by russ how
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavy weight Vinyl, compliments an almost perfect album
Reviewing the vinyl. The pressing seems pretty good, not the cleanest I have heard, but the beautiful music is complimented perfectly by the analgue hum of the instruments and... Read more
Published 14 months ago by P. J. Sharp
5.0 out of 5 stars Up to the usual Midlake quality
This is only the second Midlake CD Ihave bought ,but it is easily up to the same standard as The Trial Of Van Occupanther.
The melodies and harmonies are all there. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Mr. M. Robertson
1.0 out of 5 stars So disappointing
I was all ready to love this album, it had beards, it had woods, it had folk. Starting it up I'm thinking ... hmm, nice... downbeat folk, harmonies. Read more
Published on 15 Sep 2012 by Zamby
5.0 out of 5 stars timeless beauty
Wow, this is such a beautiful record. The first songs of this great, great album give me goose bumps, very emotional stuff. Read more
Published on 27 May 2012 by Oostrijck
4.0 out of 5 stars The long awaited follow-up
Four years on from the release of their preceding album, 'The Trials of Van Occupanther', Midlake's sound has changed very little. This is both a positive and a drawback. Read more
Published on 11 April 2012 by Mr. D Burin
3.0 out of 5 stars Jury's been out a long time now
Well, we've all "given it time" now, and "let it grow" on us. And do we now realise it's better than Occupanther? Not in a million years. It has its moments but it's just a bit... Read more
Published on 26 Jan 2012 by Ben
4.0 out of 5 stars THE JEKYLL NOT THE HYDE
I don't know what it is about Midlake but they seem to have two settings: they are either putting out albums full of gimmicky cack like Bamnan and Slivercork or they are delivering... Read more
Published on 8 Jan 2012 by Ric Cheyney
5.0 out of 5 stars However, a word of warning
I bought the 2CD edition assuming that, as the tracks were the same, the extra CD featured the Denton Session which was available as a pre-release download. Read more
Published on 3 Jun 2011 by S. Conway
2.0 out of 5 stars dissapointing and depressing.
This album is far from good.
The trials of van occupanther is a great album, but this is awful.
there are maybe 2-3 good songs on here. Read more
Published on 23 April 2011 by Ihaterain
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