Review of Midlake's album The Courage of Others.
Texan folk is back, literally, with Midlake's third album, 'The Courage of Others'.
Medieval comes to mind with the addition of a flute, and especially with the bells... I can imagine them in a courtyard with a jester and people dancing. Or natural hippie, if nothing else. Think 60's freedom and that hazy yellow American vision of collectiveness and peace. It's folk in a new folk kind of way.
Vocal harmonies stand out on each track and work really well. 'The Horn' leans a little more towards rock with a deep bass and more of a dramatic beat, but it's the electric guitar solo in 'Courage of Others' which brings a bit of modern life. It's louder, and easier to appreciate in a crowd.
Frontman Tim Smith has gone a little bit deeper with this album, perhaps a little more courageous. It's dark and mournful, and the passion of the writing and performance shine through. It takes a lot of confidence in your ability to come out with something which leans against the norm... and this certainly does.
Midlake will have a niche with their fans, and that seems to be enough for them. If you are already into Midlake then you will not be disappointed with how they have progressed on this album.
'The Courage of Others' is perhaps the most unpredicted album I would have expected to hear in 2010. It's not from this time, and yet exceeds expectations.