User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 49 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 49
  2. Negative: 4 out of 49

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  1. Feb 24, 2012
    8
    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 Ledstrong 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
  2. Jun 27, 2013
    9
    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
    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?

    Beautiful.
    Expand
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 32
  2. Negative: 2 out of 32
  1. 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.
  2. 60
    Even though the lyrics stay hippy-dippy, there are hard-earned moments of musical release.
  3. This could well be Midlake's masterpiece, which is saying something considering the esteem in which The Trials Of Van Occupanther is held.