Midlake – The Courage of Others

With the upcoming 2nd of February 2010 release of “The Courage of Others”, Denton, Texas based alt-rocker band, Midlake forges toward a larger musical market — after critically acclaimed success with their third full-length release, “The Trials of Van Occupanther”. This time their efforts come up short. Where previously, a mild anxiety met worldly realization in a magical pull toward a hopeful conclusion, this LP flounders in melancholy, unable to maintain a pace necessary to overcome the angst of existential life.

Whether intentional or not, the result lacks the novelty and the energy of the previous release — disappointing when more than three years have passed since the last production. An exceptional local band from a music-rich scene, Midlake found their legs among fellow competitors and compatriots. But in an attempt to gain wider acceptance in a diversified national market, the band loses focus and momentum while achieving a more homogenized commercial sound. Sad for their previous fans.

It’s worth waiting and watching, to see if an appeal to a broader less demanding audience yields salable results — at the expense of artistry. For now, a promising young band has produced a boring, less demanding sound, to these ears.

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