Midlake | The Courage Of Others

Bella Union (2010)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  February 9, 2010
1.5 1.5 Stars


These blog-beloved Texans racked up loads of Fleetwood Mac comparisons with their breakout 2006 disc, The Trials of Van Occupanther. Now, on this lovingly crafted follow-up, the men of Midlake have moved on to emulating the late-'60s/early-'70s British folk-rock scene.

With its trilling flutes, pastoral acoustic guitars, and song titles like "Core of Nature" and "Children of the Grounds," The Courage of Others could pass for newly excavated work by Pentangle or Fairport Convention. Problem is, it sounds like newly excavated work that wasn't necessarily crying out for rescue. Although their ear for instrumental texture results in some gorgeous arrangements — check out the slow build of "Rulers, Ruling All Things" — Midlake are exceptionally dull songwriters.

Very few of their melodies go anywhere memorable, and when they do, they never go anywhere else. ("Courage" plays like one long mid-tempo drone.) As for frontman Tim Smith, if dude is excited about his lyrics, he certainly makes no effort to convince you of it. Overall? Pretty but pointless.

Related: Ghost stories, Winged migration, Injustice for all, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Fleetwood Mac,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS | FURTHER  |  July 07, 2010
    Astralwerks (2010)
  •   DEVO | SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY  |  July 01, 2010
    Given the theory of de-evolution these Ohio brainiacs began expounding more than 30 years ago, it makes a sad kind of sense that Devo's first album since 1990's Smooth Noodle Maps offers such a charmless, base-level version of the band's synth-addled new wave.
  •   TAIO CRUZ | ROKSTARR  |  June 24, 2010
    When Taio Cruz sings, "I can't live without you," in "Take Me Back," pop-song conventions tell us he's referring to a lover.
  •   THE FUTUREHEADS | THE CHAOS  |  June 16, 2010
    "I wish that I could stop the noise," sings Barry Hyde not long into The Chaos . It sure doesn't seem that way.
    Bettye LaVette’s previous two albums had titles that required a little digging to unpack.

 See all articles by: MIKAEL WOOD