The Courage Of Others Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 49 Ratings

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  • Summary: Released on Bella Union Records, The Courage Of Others is Midlake's third full-length album.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 32
  2. Negative: 2 out of 32
  1. Coming after the hauntingly archaic The Trials Of Van Occupanther, the more personal The Courage Of Others is bracing—stunning, even.
  2. With "The Courage of Others" (Bella Union), Midlake singer Tim Smith sounds like a refugee from the late ‘60s English-folk scene, with songs delivered in an unaffected, understated voice that could’ve easily complemented Sandy Denny or Anne Briggs, or fit in with Pentangle or Fairport Convention.
  3. 80
    Instead of warm colours they work with a more monochromatic palette. There's darkness, rain, a chill in the air, remoteness, a sense of nature--and more of than not, a very British remoteness and sense of nature. [Feb 2010, p.90]
  4. Like most of the record, it's slow to mid-tempo, but pushed forward by quick acoustic strums, and it builds up slowly to a huge rise with the type of sly hook that's all to rare on the set.
  5. Sadly, this time out, the band have put aside the wonderfully corny synthesizers they used on the last record in favor of a 100-percent organic approach that fits their bearded poets of the mountain image.
  6. It is, quite frankly, a bland album. [Winter 2010, p.69]
  7. With precious little exception, these songs are just so wispy, and the band's treatment of them so delicate, it turns Courage into a museum piece, stuffy, bloodless

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. KaitlynGuest
    Jan 31, 2010
  2. DF.
    Feb 2, 2010
    Great album...took awhile to grow on me and get over the fact that this is no Van Occupanther 2. A great move forward for a really incredible band.
  3. Jun 27, 2013
    I have been awestruck by this album. Multiple plays later it still enchants my ears with its total difference to just about everything else.

    No, it's not The Trials of Van Occupanther. But is that what you'd really want? Go straight to the iTunes chart if the answer is 'yes', please. No, this is a thought-out, restrained gem made with a clear vision. Its quiet restraint pulls me in to soak up every subtle lick and lyric. Its odd, elsewhere world is fascinating. What happened? Is it the past or the future? Why is its condition both attractive and daunting?

  4. Feb 24, 2012
    strong 3rd album from the lo-fi folk-rockers. Midlake have a real unique sound that stands out amongst other releases over the last decade. It's hard to say what their influences are. This album is a mix of acoustic and electric guitars blend in with a host of other instruments, topped off with dark and dreary vocals which really suits the style of the music. At times I'm reminded of Led Zep's quieter tracks, but in general they just sound from a completely different era. Some of it has a medieval feel to it. It's take a lot of listens to really hear what's going on here but it's worth sticking with it. The opener "Acts of Man", "Children of the Grounds" and the title track "The Courage of Others" are the highlights for me. Expand
  5. SamF.
    Jan 30, 2010
    WHAT?! This is such a POOR follow up to Trials of Van the Occupanther! The vocals are low and drab, the songs less sophisticated and repetitive.