- CD de audio (21 de mayo de 2009)
- Número de discos: 1
- Formato: CD
- Sello: V2
- ASIN: B000F3ALAG
- Disponible también en: CD de audio | Disco de vinilo
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº23.873 en Música (Ver el Top 100 en Música)
The Trials Of Van Occupanther CD
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Cooperative Music es un grupo de sellos independientes con base en Londres pero con oficinas de representación en medio mundo y que lleva funcionando desde 2005. Los sellos independientes más prestigiosos Bella Union, City Slang, V2, Moshi Moshi, Wichita, Kitsuné,... y sus emblemáticos artistas (Fleet Foxes, Mumford & Sons, Phoenix, Two Door Cinema Club, Interpol, The Knife, Lambchop, Calexico, Bloc Party,...) han depositado su confianza en Cooperative para ser representados mundialmente. Esta nueva selección de títulos demuestra el indudable valor del trabajo realizado en nuestra corta pero fructífera vida.
Lista de canciones:
3. Head Home
4. Van Occupanther
5. Young Bride
7. In This Camp
8. We Gathered in Spring
9. It Covers the Hillsides
10. Chasing After Deer
11. You Never Arrived
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It opens with the rippling guitar and mellow vocals of "Roscoe," which sways through on a smooth folk-rocky path. "Stonecutters made them from stones/Chosen specially for you and I/Who will live inside?" sings Tim Smith, as he sings about rain-drenched gardens and cedar houses.
Then it's time for the melodic folk of "Bandits" and the rippling pop-rock of "Head Home." As the album goes on, Midlake tries out all sorts of music -- fluting folk about exhausted scientists, swirling lo-fi rock, exquisite piano ballads, sunny pastoral sounds, and mellow tunes about chasing after deer.
Listening to "The Trials of Van Occupanther" is like being outside on a late spring day, lying on the grass and watching the clouds drift by. Even when they try out some odder stuff, Midlake's second album is full of the beauty and awe of nature, in all sorts of ways. "For myself I must remind/that the woods are usually kind"...
The music is centered on the acoustic and electric guitar, forming swirls of psychedelic indiepop and gentle folk/dance. And there's plenty of solid percussion and sparklin sweeps of analog synth to keep it colorful, while other songs have the piano and a delicate flute behind them. One of the best moments is "Branches," an eerily adoring little ballad that slowly soars up.
And the lyrics are equally strong -- bittersweet and slightly fantastical. Tim Smith's smooth vocals convey everything from post-rain freshness ("We like the newness, the newness of all/That has grown in our garden soaking for so long") to lovers who live up in trees.
Midlake made a triumphant return in their second full-length album, "Trials of Van Occupanther." An exquisite piece of work, and a must-listen for fans of brilliant indie-folk-rock.
Yes, Midlake's influences obscure their songs on the first listen, but give this album some time, and it becomes pure Midlake and damn--oh so damn!--good.
I find it intriguing that the name of Radiohead (probably my favorite band ever) should appear so often in reviews about this "Trials of Van Occupanther". If they have anything in common, it's probably this apparent (yet not so) staggering transformation from ugly little ducks to majestuous swans - although I would argue that in both cases, the seeds of their musical genius could already be found in their respective first albums.
Certainly, Radiohead has profoundly influenced Midlake (this is particularly obvious on "Branches", which would not have been out of place on an EP of the "Ok Computer" era), and in particular the singing of Tim Smith, but unlike many bands which are still clumsily struggling to comprehend the riches of "Ok Computer" or even "The Bends", Midlake has succeeded in not only understanding, but also seamlessly merging that influence with many others, Fleetwood Mac and America immediately springing to mind. As a result, "The Trials of...." proposes a musical landscape both familiar and foreign, drawn by layers upon layers of melodies deceivingly simple where you feel oddly at home although you've never quite been there before.
Overall, the greatest achievement of this record is not to break new grounds or to revolutionize a genre, but lies in the net of sensations, images and atmosphere it weaves around you. Certainly, some songs will awaken your interest on their own merits - "Roscoe", which I would undoubtly choose as my favorite song of 2006, and deserves the title of "instant classic", "Head Home", "Young Brides" or even "We Gathered in Spring". But a handful of songs, no matter how convincing, is not enough to make a great album. What's so outstanding about "The Trials of Van Occupanther" when all is said and done is that feeling that we've just been invited to witness a ghostly gathering in forgotten woods, an enchanting picture full of nostaliga but refusing to slumber in gratuitous sadness, almost miraculous and so fragile that you barely dare to breathe for fear that it would disappear in an instant.
I am sure some people will find this same record tedious, or at least forgetable, and they would be just as right as I am for lauding it: for it is in the nature of such a musical piece which stands out, not for its bravery (unless publishing a honest work is considered such - which may just be), but for creating its own, peaceful niche in the music scene of today, to fall flat to some ears, depending on their state of mind of the day or their sensitivity. But I can only speak for myself here, and I would conclude by saying that it's this very sense of being witness to something unique and almost miraculous, of urgency contrasting with the luxurious pace with which the songs unfold, of extreme frailty of something that could vanish at any moment that makes "The Trials of Van Occupanther" an outstanding recording that belongs to no other genre but its own