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Mumford & Sons - Wilder Mind (Album Review)

Tuesday, 05 May 2015 Written by James Ball

To many, the banjos were what made Mumford and Sons stand out among other guitar bands in the first place. But now that they’ve ditched their signature move, where does that leave them?

On the back of the smash hit albums ‘Sigh No More’ and ‘Babel’, they had taken themselves right up to the very top of festival bills from absolutely nowhere. To change things up now is certainly a bold move, and perhaps one to alienate the old guard.

One listen to Marcus Mumford’s gravelly tones, though, and we’re straight back into Mumfords territory, as he pours his heart out over wonderfully crafted tracks such as the riotous The Wolf and the smoother rest stop that is Hot Gates.

Anyone expecting a Snow Patrol retread will be pleasantly surprised. While the banjos are gone, the spirit and desire certainly remain. This is about as close to an honest, believable album by a band called Mumford and Sons as you could hope to find. It’s by a band not wishing to be pigeonholed as a bunch of ragtag, shouty folkers, or as a band who can do very little but boot a kick drum and wail. No, this is a record by a band who just simply want to write good songs and let the critics be damned.

‘Wilder Mind’ takes time to appreciate. To dismiss it at first listen would be a grand mistake. There’s an awful lot to take in here and each listen brings something new. The band have evolved, and the songs do the same with each listen. So far removed is it from their past successes that this work has to go on a different pedestal.

Put simply, this album may shock a lot of Mumfords fans the first time around. The influence of Aaron Dessner (from gloomy, yet brilliant alt-rockers The National) as producer can certainly be heard in that sense, but these songs deserve your undivided attention and a clean slate to start from.  If you don’t give them that, you’ll miss out.

Mumford and Sons Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows

Fri July 31 2015 - AVIEMORE Dell of Rothiemurchus
Sat August 01 2015 - AVIEMORE Dell of Rothiemurchus

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