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Trials of Van Occupanther
     

The Trials of Van Occupanther

5.0 2
by Midlake
 

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Midlake's second album is a departure from their lo-fi, psychedelic pop-influenced debut. The Trials of Van Occupanther jumps with both feet into the '70s of Laurel Canyon troubadours and soft rock balladeers. It jumps like Bob Beamon right past any other current bands treading similar ground and jumps back into time, becoming one of the best examples of the

Overview

Midlake's second album is a departure from their lo-fi, psychedelic pop-influenced debut. The Trials of Van Occupanther jumps with both feet into the '70s of Laurel Canyon troubadours and soft rock balladeers. It jumps like Bob Beamon right past any other current bands treading similar ground and jumps back into time, becoming one of the best examples of the sound and style you'll ever hear, date of release notwithstanding. The first thing you notice on the album is the stunning vocal harmonies; you might think you dropped in an America disc by mistake. (The best record America ever did, that is.) Tim Smith has the kind of voice you know could be a glass-shattering instrument on par with that of Buckley or Wainwright, but he keeps it dialed down to an intimate scale, which is a wise decision. His vocals bleed melancholy honesty, and the way it combines with Eric Pulido's voice will raise goose bumps. The arrangements provide a perfect bed for the vocals, with cottony layers of acoustic guitars and strings, gentle horns, restrained drums, and lyrical piano combining beautifully. The occasional surprises are effective, especially when they use some of the corniest synth sounds heard since Jan Hammer unstrapped his keytar for the last time, on "We Gathered in Spring" and "It Covers the Hillside." All of which is nice but isn't worth much without songs. Fortunately, Midlake writes unerringly tuneful melodies and thoughtful lyrics about topics other than love and introspection, and lays down plenty of gentle hooks. Nothing that you'll be singing in the shower for days at a time, but each song goes down smoothly and they add up to make The Trials of Van Occupanther a very pleasant, maybe even exciting in a restrained way, listening experience. You'll certainly find yourself reaching for it more often than you might expect; indeed, it has lasting power that many records that sound so good on first listen lack. Midlake might be stuck in the '70s, but they make it sound like the best place on earth.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/06/2006
Label:
Imports
UPC:
5033197392523
catalogNumber:
834443
Rank:
1181

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Midlake   Primary Artist
Tim Smith   Acoustic Guitar,Flute,Piano,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Eric Nichelson   Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,12-string Guitar,Guitar (12 String Acoustic)
Eric Pulido   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals,12-string Guitar,Guitar (12 String Acoustic)
Mckenzie Smith   Percussion,Drums
Tim Smith   Acoustic Guitar
Linda Salisbury   French Horn
Josh Ello   Violin
Paul Alexander   Bass Guitar

Technical Credits

Tim Smith   Producer
Midlake   Audio Production
Tim Smith   Composer,Audio Production

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The Trials Of Van Occupanther 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
shellbell23 More than 1 year ago
This album is so great! Love "Young Bride" and Midlake <3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago