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‘Wilder Mind’ leaves much to be desired for listeners

May 14, 2015

 

BLAKE BRANCH 

Wilder Mind  Mumford & Sons

Wilder Mind
Mumford & Sons

Staff Reporter

 

You know an album is underwhelming when halfway through all you can think about is how you want to hear something (anything) else.

 

This was the case for me when I sat down to listen to Mumford & Sons new album, “Wilder Mind.”

 

The band’s third release amps up the drumming and ditches the strumming, leaving diehard fans of the neo-folk icons wondering what the hell prompted such a switch.

 

The tones are sometimes popish, other times they are ominous, and there is plenty of sorrow sprinkled throughout, as anyone who has followed the band to the slightest degree knows.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the band’s first album, “Sigh No More,” which featured different musical elements like the banjo and upright bass, both which provided an energetic brand of folk music fans had not seen before.

 

This newest album, however, is a journey into the band’s wilder side as they try to harness more rock in their sound.

 

I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard the album’s opener, “Tompkin’s Square Park.”

 

The song was so different, but so catchy in its own indie-inspired way.

 

As I continued listening I was trying to figure out if I was even listening to Mumford & Sons.

 

“Believe,” the album’s second song is probably on its way to becoming a hit, but personally, I didn’t care for it. Much like every other song on “Wilder Mind,” the song begins slowly as it builds up to a crescendo about three-fourths of the way through.

 

The third track, “The Wolf” is the only one on the album that delivers any power from start to finish. This made it my early favorite.

 

The next three songs are title track, “Wilder Mind,” followed by “Just Smoke” and “Monster.” These songs mirror each other with a steady pace and long, drawn out syllables that seep off the tongue of front man Marcus Mumford.

 

I’ll pause here to add I am not a fan of Mumford’s voice or the way he hogs the microphone on 90 percent of the band’s music.

 

I found myself daydreaming of the band during the recording of this album and pictured Mumford telling his bandmates to turn down their newly acquired electric instruments so everyone could better hear his bellows.

 

I’d like to tell you the album’s second half gets better, but it doesn’t.

 

One song that did catch my ear was “Snake Eyes,” because of the break-beat drumming and haunting wail of the guitar.

 

You have to give Mumford & Sons a ton of credit though, they went for something new when they could have stuck with what was tried and true.

 

The band was hoping for a home run by flexing out of folk, unfortunately, for me, they struck out.

 

Email comments to mbb029@latech.edu.

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