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Midlake - Antiphon

January 2014 CD of the Month - As the Texas based band Midlake were in the middle of recording a new album last year, their frontman Tim Smith decided to part ways. At a crossroads such as that, most bands would probably decide to call it quits.
But for the remaining members of Midlake it was an opportunity to reassess their sound and ultimately assume new roles. The most prominent shift was for guitarist Eric Pulido who moved to the center of the stage as the new lead man.

Essentially having to start the recording process over again Midlake moved forward in creating Antiphon, their most progressive work to date and most engaging in quite a while. The band's fourth studio album still captures the comfort and warmth of their previous work, especially on a song like "It's Going Down" with its lush layered vocals and subtle catchiness. But where their classic rock touchstones may have been tied closer to say, Fleetwood Mac, the band stretches sonically echoing more adventurous, inescapable influences like Pink Floyd.

Where Tim Smith had been the primary songwriter for the band, Pulido is on record stating that Antiphon represents more of a democratic approach. And while all these seem like drastic, sweeping changes, another really nice thing about this new album is that the results play as more of an evolution. The change is frontman, at least vocally, isn't as dramatic as you might expect. And the progressive nature of the album plays as an appropriate next step for the band. All in all, Midlake hit the refresh button and the results are impressive.

Review by Mike Vasilikos
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