By Michael Endelman
Updated July 28, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

It takes a confident band to resurrect the soft-rock sound of Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles, but that’s exactly what this Denton, Tex., quintet does on its sophomore album. Led by wispy-voiced singer Tim Smith, Midlake excel at lush, harmony-laden ballads like ”Bandits” and the heart-tugging goodbye song ”You Never Arrived.” The Trials of Van Occupanther‘s lyrics mostly focus on rural activities like hunting, gathering, farming, and ”living under branches.” Will the Farmer’s Almanac get a writing credit?