Midlake - 'The Courage of Others', February 2010 - Page 2 - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-02-2010, 08:02 PM   #16
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I couldn't disagree more, but again I go back to saying that I think this will be a grower for people who don't just instantly give up because it's not a pop album.

Now that I've actually heard it, this is probably the best review I've read in regards to the description and what they have to say:

http://drownedinsound.com/releases/1...eviews/4138801

Some of the better passages:

and the quintet have purportedly spent countless hours in the studio assimilating these influences, taking care not to produce a record that follows the same beats as its predecessor. As Pulido succinctly explains: “We didn’t want to make the same album as Van Occupanther.” It’s to their credit, then, that they’ve done nothing of the sort. Where that album cut great swathes of melancholy across Seventies soft rock, Courage... is a denser, altogether knottier affair, seeing the band take those trad-folk cues and really (like, really) run with them.

It also shares with the band’s earlier material the same, pervasive sadness. A resolutely minor key offering, it’s even less instantly gratifying than before, precipitating its one central flaw: that these songs unfold at a leisurely pace – growing in stature as they progress from unassuming beginnings to sweeping crescendo – is admirable, but a touch overwhelming; even a little daunting on first exposure. Such is the apparent air of dourness you’d be forgiven for scurrying back to the likes of ‘Roscoe’ or ‘Young Bride’ (or scouring the internet for some vacuous pop thrills) (ahem), for there’s nothing here quite as simple, or serene.

If it feels odd that a band such as Midlake seem poised to follow their ‘breakthrough’ record by actually breaking out with something as dark, strange and bewilderingly out of step as The Courage of Others, it’s worth remembering that Van Occupanther itself was a marked departure from the psychedelic leanings of debut set Bamnan and Slivercork; similarly oblivious to and unconcerned by its unfashionable nature. Moreover, this is a band that never make a great deal of sense first time round.

Rather, they actively strive for development. Never mind that they accomplish this via harvesting so much from bygone eras; in honing and maximising their sound so adeptly, there’s little separating them from the Radioheads, the Björks, the TV on the Radios or the Animal Collectives of this world. So, it shouldn’t feel odd at all, really. It should feel like a victory.

Yeah, I know some people are going to love it and don't get me wrong I do "like" the album. But overall, it fell flat for me, and I have listened to it straight through about 7 or 8 times trying to get into it more. But when I listen to it up against some of the more interesting new releases that are coming out right now, it just doesn't do it for me.

I think you are going to see some unfortunate backlash against Midlake because of this album.

And for the record, I don't need a pop album from Midlake, I just need one with a few songs that don't put me to sleep.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:02 PM   #17
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Texas has turned you against all that is good, my so called friend. Tonight I sleep on a pillow of tears.

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Old 02-03-2010, 02:20 AM   #18
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Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Midlake: The Courage of Others

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Old 02-03-2010, 10:31 AM   #19
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I didn't write that review, I swear.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:57 AM   #20
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awww....pitchfork reviews.....always entertaining.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:04 AM   #21
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awww....pitchfork reviews.....always entertaining.
While I think the reviewer spends too much time comparing the album to Van Occupanther, it is relevant context. And while each Midlake album is a departure, as mentioned, I agree with his assessment that the songs tend to be lifeless and don't go anywhere.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:31 AM   #22
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I didn't write that review, I swear.
I hope not, did you actually read it? If there's someone alive out there who can get past the first 3 or 4 sentences without thinking to themselves "Is this a joke?", I will pay them $10.

I just find it sad that the supposedly "most indie of all indie sites" out there is the one and only place that has given it a score any where near that bad (and the one and only "indie" site I've seen that has even given it a bad score). Seriously, go to Metacritic, the only score Pitchfork is close to is freaking Spin Magazine. Every where else is extremely positive. It really says something about your review's credibility when you have more in common with Spin Magazine than any other supposedly "independent thought and music" type of outlet.

Regardless, I think they gave Van Occupanther a 7 or something anyways, and it's one of my top 5 albums of the last decade, so I really can't be bothered by what they have to say. Particularly when it appears that a 19 year old who felt the need to use a thesaurus on at least one or two words per sentence wrote the "critique". It's sad when people who are published critics can't actually think.... you know.....critically, or even seem to be familiar with the band's previous work. Bamnan and Milkmaid were "Grandaddy-lite"????

Regardless, it was good for a laugh. The album's still great.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:30 PM   #23
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Particularly when it appears that a 19 year old who felt the need to use a thesaurus on at least one or two words per sentence wrote the "critique".
You better watch yo self. I'm a 20 year old critic who loves her thesaurus (when used properly, of course).

The review was pretty ridiculous though. Reminds me of the shitty ass review that AC's Fall Be Kind got, in terms of writing ability, at least, since the score was still high for that album. It's quite obvious that P4K doesn't represent the pinnacle of music writing today, not even close.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:36 PM   #24
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I didn't think the review was amateur, I just don't think you agree with it mofo. And thats fine, I know you dig the album but I still find it to be a bit of a let down, I guess my expectations were just too high.

Don't forget, this same reviewer was the one who gave that Los Campesinos album such high marks recently, and I don't think anyone batted an eye.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:40 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by u2popmofo View Post
I hope not, did you actually read it? If there's someone alive out there who can get past the first 3 or 4 sentences without thinking to themselves "Is this a joke?", I will pay them $10.

I just find it sad that the supposedly "most indie of all indie sites" out there is the one and only place that has given it a score any where near that bad (and the one and only "indie" site I've seen that has even given it a bad score). Seriously, go to Metacritic, the only score Pitchfork is close to is freaking Spin Magazine. Every where else is extremely positive. It really says something about your review's credibility when you have more in common with Spin Magazine than any other supposedly "independent thought and music" type of outlet.
If you are going by Metacritic, the collective score right now of the album is 74. Which places it behind these albums released this year. (that we in the indie sphere)

Surfer Blood
Laura Veirs
Owen Pallet
Vampire Weekend
Spoon
Los Campesinos
Tune Yards
Four Tet
Beach House
Real Estate
Memory Tapes

That seem about right?
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:33 PM   #26
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Memory Tapes released an album this year? sweet! i'm gonna check that shit out.
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:37 PM   #27
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Memory Tapes released an album this year? sweet! i'm gonna check that shit out.
Sorry, it was from November 09, they list from the past several months.
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:43 PM   #28
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wow. i never knew about that album. still gonna check that shit out.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:57 AM   #29
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Not sure if it's because I'm new to Midlake and therefore had no expectations one way or the other, but I thought this was a beautiful album. Yes, it's quite mellow. Yes, the songs do flow from one to another in a similar fashion, but I think that was the point. To use these certain themes to create as cohesive a record as possible.

Rulers, Ruling All Things stands out in particular.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:42 PM   #30
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Rulers, Ruling All Things stands out in particular.
That's one of my favorites as well. I also really love the track right after it, Children of the Grounds.

Glad you didn't hate it!
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