Midlake is pretty much pretty great on The Courage of Others

Midlake is a lot like a musical chimera. But not in a bad way; it’s more of a badass chimera, like one you’d fight in Final Fantasy X (shut up). I say that because the base of the music is generally acoustic, and a lot of “folk” generalizations can be made about the band. But they are, of course, so much more than that. At its sparest The Courage of Others still features two acoustics bouncing off and wiggling through each other, and the arrangements, at times, can become pretty huge. Listening to the album is like walking through a happy, druid-filled magical forest (of death).

The tone shines through nicely in “Winter Dies,” which functions as the introduction to the scope of the band’s sound. It’s hard to discredit the band’s prog-rock tendencies (flute!), and the way that singer Tim Smith drags his vocals over the instruments lends the tracks a cool sense of majesty.

Even when Midlake wears its influences a bit too proudly (the climax of “Bring Down” is Radiohead’s “Exit Music (For a Film),” and don’t you dare challenge me on it), the songs still mostly succeed because they’re just written so damn well. The Courage of Others flies by because the band is so confident in their overall sound. Every song on the album is a Midlake song.

And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Midlake – “Winter Dies” [MP3]

Midlake – “Bring Down” [MP3]

Purchase The Courage of Others here

2 comments to Midlake is pretty much pretty great on The Courage of Others

  • I’m going to have to challenge you. I dare. I dare. The entire “Bring Down” track is more recalling the final three minutes of “Paranoid Android” more than “Exit Music.” You’re right with the Radiohead, but the song is off IMO. This is one of the best albums I’ve heard in years.

  • santos

    thank you! i’ve been telling my friends that this is the same progression as exit music and they look at me like i’m crazy. when i first heard it i figured it was an homage to radiohead.