Midlake’s third album, the Courage of Others, is both similar and yet evolved from their previous, the Trials of Van Occupanther. It is similar in the way the songs have been written, with the main vocal and lush harmonies taking the centre stage of each track, as well as in the lyrics themselves. It is different because they have done away with the piano and synthesizers used throughout Van Occupanther, and instead have built up beautiful layers of guitar on every track aiming for a much more natural sound.
It is easy to get an appreciation of just how great the musicians from Midlake are by listening to the complex arrangements and many layers of guitars and vocals in each one. While I absolutely adore the guitar throughout, it would have been nice for one or two tracks to include a different instrument to break things up, because as it stands, the songs tend to blend into each other a little too much. Still, the overall feel of this album is mystical, melancholic and grand, exactly what you’d expect from Midlake, and the day they write a love song is the day I stop listening.
01. Acts Of Man
03. Small Mountain