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Courage of Others

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Audio CD, February 2, 2010
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Frequently Bought Together

Courage of Others + Trials of Van Occupanther + Antiphon
Price for all three: $31.80

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Editorial Reviews

The Courage of Others is the lusted after follow-up to Midlake's 2006 cult classic The Trials of Van Occupanther.
Existing outside the plane of trends and even time, Midlake has once again conjured a novel world, but one
that seems to have existed forever. Looms of intricately textured keyboards, flute, guitars and voice are woven into broad cloaks of sound, all riding the wave of songwriter Tim Smith s sweeping vocals. Recorded over the course of two years in their Denton, Texas studio, The Courage
of Others is the result of the band's quest to create a complete work. It is an album in the classic sense, meant
to be digested in a single sitting and given the opportunity to become more than its constituent parts. Here the band blends early Brit folk influences with thick-throated guitars to propel themselves toward new sounds and emotions. Creeping and epic, The Courage of Others is positioned
to be the latest installment in the important and everevolving
discography of one of modern music's most unique torchbearers.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Acts Of Man 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Winter Dies 5:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Small Mountain 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Core of Nature 4:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Fortune 2:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Rulers, Ruling All Things 4:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Children of the Grounds 3:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Bring Down 3:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. The Horn 4:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. The Courage Of Others 3:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. In The Ground 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 2, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bella Union
  • ASIN: B0030BYWKK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,126 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Rudolph Klapper on February 2, 2010
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.
Read more ›
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful 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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ron E. Millisor on February 9, 2010
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James on February 15, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I've been anticipating this album for years. I've been an avid fan since the release of Van
Occupanther. I spent 2008, 2009 and the beginnings of 2010 scrapping for the few photos,articles
and interviews - looking for a mere hint of what The Courage of Others might sound like. If you
are expecting the warm tones, upbeat rhythms and whimsical lyrics, you will inevitably be let down.

In Midlake's defense, they mentioned in a few articles that they were aiming for a darker feel.
However, instead of that desired "darker feel", the music comes across as lackadaisical - while
listening to the album the first time through, I didn't feel much of anything.

The recording quality is very similar to Van Occupanther. The Courage of Others has the same retro,
classical feel with the tight, compressed drums - but the album is slower, darker and simpler. The
album is less experimental with fewer solos/instrumentals (which is what attracted me to them in the
first place).

As long as long as I've waited, and as much attention as its been given, I feel let down. I say it's
worthy of 2 1/2 or 3 stars, but not much more. I miss the retro grooves such as "Bandits" and "Roscoe".
It makes me wonder if Midlake will every get back to that same sound - I sure do miss it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


Topic From this Discussion
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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