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Midlake - The Courage of Others


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I know a lot of folks around here-- myself included-- really enjoyed The Trials of Van Occupanther, so I figured this warranted a mention. Midlake has a new album coming out in February, and supposedly it swaps the soft-rock of the last one for a more folk-influenced sound. Pitchfork has more details.

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  • 1 month later...

After this album, I am ready to elope with a fair elven maiden. I come, Galadriel. Mellotrons! Flutes! Renaissance Fair melodies. Guys wearing wizard robes on the album cover, and holding mysterious Palantir-like bowling balls. If you look into the reflecting pool you can see the past and the future. And the past looks like 1969, and the old lounge schlockmeisters The Association recording something midway between prog rock and a folk Mass. The future looks like it will include more time for Dungeons and Dragons parties in the basement after the band breaks up. Welcome back to earth (the normal one, not the middle one), fair travelers.

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This is what happens when you let three part harmonies run amuck. Not that they're bad in the first place, but over use them and you end up sitting in a mental ward thinking you're Gandalf the elf.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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This is what happens when you let three part harmonies run amuck. Not that they're bad in the first place, but over use them and you end up sitting in a mental ward thinking you're Gandalf the elf.

And flute sucks. Man, does it suck.

Trialshad some engaging tunes, and while i initially loved the overall vibe, over time I found Tim Smith's dreary-as-ass mumbling to be exhausting. I can barely listen to that album anymore without feeling like I'm recovering from the flu. The new album is worse. It is the sound of nylon acoustic minstrels, dragged into the forest and drained of all testosterone. One listen had me pining for some old Slayer.

"The things we enjoy are channels through which the divine glory strikes us, and those who love and delight in any good thing may yet learn to love God." --Gilbert Meilaender

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One listen had me pining for some old Slayer.

LOL! :) What, no Gwar available?

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Gwar would be IDEAL! :lol: Only something like Sexecutioneror Vlad the Impalercould offset the droning malaise of Acts of Man

"The things we enjoy are channels through which the divine glory strikes us, and those who love and delight in any good thing may yet learn to love God." --Gilbert Meilaender

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Trialshad some engaging tunes, and while i initially loved the overall vibe, over time I found Tim Smith's dreary-as-ass mumbling to be exhausting. I can barely listen to that album anymore without feeling like I'm recovering from the flu. The new album is worse. It is the sound of nylon acoustic minstrels, dragged into the forest and drained of all testosterone. One listen had me pining for some old Slayer.

I'm fairly on board with this. I really liked (and like, present tense) a good number of songs on Trials, but wow...I really cannot listen to the album now without growing restless. Especially the second half. Snooze.

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This is what happens when you let three part harmonies run amuck. Not that they're bad in the first place, but over use them and you end up sitting in a mental ward thinking you're Gandalf the elf.

And flute sucks. Man, does it suck.

Trialshad some engaging tunes, and while i initially loved the overall vibe, over time I found Tim Smith's dreary-as-ass mumbling to be exhausting. I can barely listen to that album anymore without feeling like I'm recovering from the flu. The new album is worse. It is the sound of nylon acoustic minstrels, dragged into the forest and drained of all testosterone. One listen had me pining for some old Slayer.

The image that comes to mind as I listen to the new album is Eric Idle as the minstrel in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, chronicling the saga of Brave Sir Robin. It works in a comedy. It's a stretch on an album that purportedly takes itself seriously. Very seriously, I might add. Which, in a perverse way, actually makes it all kind of funny.

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I havn't heard this album yet, but you people are really making me want to.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

For once, Pitchfork is spot on.

This music doesn't evoke the pan-fluted wizard so much as it does the sniveling cross-dresser. This is career-ending for Midlake unless they burn their nylon string guitars and submit to aggressive hormone replacement therapy.

(All this from a guy with a Jimmy Griffin avatar...)

Edited by Greg P

"The things we enjoy are channels through which the divine glory strikes us, and those who love and delight in any good thing may yet learn to love God." --Gilbert Meilaender

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I have to agree with everyone here, from the clips I've heard, this is one dark, dull album. This stuff makes Fleet Foxes sound like party-up soul-funk in comparison.

Edited by Crow
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