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Boomkat Product Review:
Midlake's sophomore album, The Trials Of Van Occupanther was a surprise hit back in 2006, and the group's reputation only seems to have snowballed as the years have gone on. The '70s rock feel of that album seems to have been substituted in favour of British prog-folk as the central influence this time around however, and much like Espers, Midlake appear to revel in the sounds of Pentangle, Fairport Convention and King Crimson. Quite unlike an Espers record though, is the commercial and crossover potential in The Courage Of Others. While Greg Weeks, Meg Baird et al are likely to remain a (oc)cult favourite - a little too freaky for main stages at big festivals - you get the sense that Midlake can command a broader audience. Never is this more apparent than on the superb opener 'Acts Of Man', a slow-burner that marries searing minor-key harmonies with late-sixties/early-seventies period touches like baroque guitar picking and roving woodwind. A supremely well-crafted record, not all of The Courage Of Others' virtues will make themselves apparent instantaneously, but there's much here to keep you returning.