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Courage Of Others Box set, Import

4 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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MP3 Music, February 2, 2010
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Vinyl, Box set, Import, February 15, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Limited UK box set contains CD edition plus vinyl LP pressing, DVD documentary, 32 page booklet and a bonus five track live CD entitled 'Denton Sessions'. 2010 release, the third album from one of America's most successful and celebrated acts. The Courage Of Others is their most complete and beautiful body of work yet, best appreciated as a whole in the old-fashioned sense of an album - which makes perfect sense when you know Midlake linchpin Tim Smith's fondness for the look and feel of past times. So what's changed since The Trials of Van Occupanther, their second, hugely loved breakthrough album? Just as that record was in part inspired by the Soft Rock of the early-to-mid 1970s - from Neil Young and America to Fleetwood Mac - so Midlake's new album also looks to a slightly earlier, and definitely British, trad-tainted Folk sound. It may share the same gorgeously analogue-warm electro-acoustic template as Van Occupanther but it's a slower, darker and more carved record, both eerier and dreamier.

Product Details

  • Vinyl (February 15, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set, Import
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: COOPERATIVE MUSIC
  • ASIN: B0034K7R40
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #796,579 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
For a band as entirely oblivious to the whims of their fans as Midlake, it should come as no surprise that The Courage of Others again redefines the band's sound with barely a nod at what came before. Like their breakthrough record The Trials of Van Occupanther was a near-180 from the psychedelic rock of their debut Bamnam and Slivercork, their latest takes four years of incubating the rustic influences of artists as varied as Nick Drake and Pentangle and turns it into a strangely hypnotic album, one that is as different from what came before as it is likely to differ from whatever follows. It's easy to pin down the foundations that The Courage of Others is built upon, but it's far more difficult to realize whether Midlake has succeeded in distilling their own version of it all.

On the surface there seems plenty to like here for fans of Van Occupanther, but it quickly becomes apparent that the pop heart clearly present in past tunes like that record's "Young Bride" or "Bandits" has been tossed away in favor of a much more focused, much less accessible sound. Singer Tim Smith's distinct vocals run the show here, painting a portrait of past times and reviving the ghosts of `60s-`70s folk-rock with the uncanny ease of a weathered listener, and the band's traditionally countrified sound takes things one step further here. The album art should give anyone a pretty good indication of what's to come: Druidic rituals set to music, the worshipping of nature and living by the land, bucolic guitars weaving languid lines out and about around the omnipresent flutes and mournful, multi-tracked vocals.

It's not something to be taken lightly, and at times the experience can drag as such an utter dedication to a sound can tend to do.
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By Vinzo on February 2, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Following the brilliant "Trials of Van Occupanther" comes a more diliberate and beautifully understated "Courage of Others". Some have called it 13th Century music for the 21st Century. Perhaps that captures the spirit of the album. Like Van Occupanther, the texture and tone of "Courage" are layered and aurally stunning. The songs are pastoral, timeless and deep. Having seen their live shows, which are great, the beauty of Midlake's carefully layered sounds are sometimes missed and not fully appreciated when listening to their CDs. The vocals throughout Courage continue with very subtle chorused sounds of two, three and more vocals which play on top, around and underneath Tim Smith's voice. The results are gorgeous. Similarly, the playing and musical instrumentation, have the same layered textures of guitar, keyboards and flute, which are tender and warm.

I think that some who are looking for another "Roscoe" or "Young Bride" might be dissappointed that there are no instant grabbers on "Courage", but let "Children of the Ground", "Acts of Man", "Winter Dies" or "Rulers Ruling All Things" play a couple of times and you will realize the breadth of this outstanding album. Simply stated, this is a beautiful, graceful work that, with repeated listenings will stand the test of time. Outstanding!
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Format: Audio CD
My experience of Midlake is almost the opposite of some reviewers. I was blown away by Van Occupanther and was looking for more of the same. I got the bands earlier releases and couldn't stand them - this was the same band?! Thought I was over Midlake. Then I read a review of The Courage Of Others and decided to give it a spin. It met and then exceeded my expectations! My son listens to a lot of different stuff and he too was hooked on Van Occupanther. He said because it was one of the few albums that created a consistent mood throughout. When he was in a certain mood, it was a fav album to turn to. This collection of songs fulfills the vision of V.O. even further. I'm pretty sure that was the point, and what they were striving for. If you don't get it, you just don't.
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Format: Audio CD
I was eagerly anticipating the release of this album, as I was a huge fan of all of Midlake's previous records/EP's. As I listened to the first song on the album "Acts of Man" I started to get excited because it was well written, produced, heavily textured...then the next song came on and the next and I started to notice a pattern. This album almost comes off souding like one long song. It may be a striking, dark, emotional song, but the album still lacks the variety of previous works. The interesting changes within songs that made Van Occupather and Banman so interesting to listen to are not here either. This is not a "Bad" record by any means, but it was definitely a bit of a let down.
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Format: Audio CD
Midlake made the album that they wanted to make. In many ways this could be seen as career suicide. Just as their fan base is growing, and they are gaining some national attention, they make The Courage of Others. This is not an album meant to launch them into another tax bracket. But, this is a great personal album with a different kind of power, not seen often in today's alternative music scene.
I wholly admire them for this. Because it shows why they are making music, and that this same integrity may be found in it as well.

The Courage of others,in my opinion is a better album than the previous two. Each album quite a bit different from each other. I believe they get better each time. On this one, they seem more assured and seasoned. Tim Smith has found his voice. On this recording he doesn't sound like anyone else to me (not Neil Young nor Thom Yorke). This makes me happy.

This is a slow album that is best listened to as one piece. Every song is very similar in feel and tone. Its the kind of album that, the more you listen, the more it grows on you. It is at times sad, esoteric and ernest. There is something going on with this album that hits you at the subconscious level. This, I think, is the album's strong point. There's a primal tranquility and a purity that seeps in as you listen. The song Fortune seems to me almost religious. The closer you listen and the more you yield, the more this album gets into you. I love this album. Take the time and I think you might agree.

I know that some people will not care for this album very much. Some of the fans will feel let down. But some will enjoy it more and see that it is indeed a stronger album all around - and far more rewarding.
Cheers to you in the second group of fans. I hope you are exited as I am to see where they go next.
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Does Anyone Else Love The Courage of Others?
Better late than never! Seems a love or hate sort of an album - stellar reviews versus comments that sound like it made people nauseous. I personally love it and find it is deep - like looking down into the sea from a high place - the more you look the more it speaks. Reminds me of Fleet Foxes... Read More
Nov 17, 2010 by lakepines |  See all 5 posts
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