I’d be lying if I said I never liked Mumford & Sons. In fact, their song Little Lion Man, discovered on iPlayer replays of Adam and Joe’s 6Music show hit me at exactly the right time. Not sure where I was going and what I was doing, that song proved a nice outlet with it’s pointy lyrics and aggressive banjo. I didn’t pick to like the song, the song picked me to like it. Consequently, I got their album for Christmas and listened to it a great deal. No, I’d be lying if I said I never liked Mumford & Sons. I did.
I wasn’t that impressed by comeback single I Will Wait but I still want to listen to the new album. Because it can’t be THAT bad right? It’s still folky pop with banjos right? Yet, when I open Spotify I notice me turning on the PRIVATE LISTENING MODE. I normally would only do that for
Taylor… and other cheesy acts like…. Never mind, it’s private!
This makes me wonder: Are Mumford and Sons truly that bad, that mainstream, that I have to switch to private mode? Possibly. One thing that does strike me while listening to Babel in the privacy of my own home, is that it’s all so same-y… All so similar to Sigh No More was and not necessarily much better. Even the album cover is similar – albeit a bit more party than the first one.
Nope, now I’ve grown used to the sound of Mumford and Sons, it doesn’t interest me that much anymore. If the songs below that aren’t adding much to the equation, it doesn’t matter whether there’s one banjo or fifteen. You might as well have none. And then it’s just songs that go from quiet to loud to quiet to loud. And then loud again.
We can give them credit for trying for a different sound than other popular bands, but I’d give them even more for trying to evolve even the tiniest bit. And this album doesn’t do that. It does what it says on the tin. Mumford and Sons may sound complex, but they’re not really that complex – it turns out now. Which is a shame.
Or as @Fotografieke puts it on Twitter:
Listening to the new Mumford & Sons. I'd like my diss to be an informed one you see. Catchy, but it's the same song? Nickelback with banjos.
— Marieke van der Veen (@Fotografieke) September 29, 2012
Harsh. but true.
There’s much more interesting folk pop going on. If you know where to look. And I do. But that’s another story. I’d be lying if I said I never liked Mumford & Sons. But I don’t like them that much anymore.