Mumford and Sons’ new album, new direction succeed

Ksenia Gorinshteyn, Staff Reporter

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Adopting a new sound while still keeping some of the same folk-ish flare, the new album “Wilder Mind” by Mumford & Sons shows huge rock and alternative influences from bands like Radiohead and The Strokes, combined with their classic, heartfelt lyrics, like those in the song “Only Love.”

Upon hearing the first single “Believe” in March, the new synth-heavy impression it left didn’t necessarily excite me. However, as new singles were released closer to the launch of the album, such as “The Wolf,” with intense guitars and a garage band sound, it left me with a positive feeling.

The opening song, “Tompkins Square Park,” tells a tale of two ex-lovers possibly meeting for the last time. The lead singer Marcus Mumford sings heartbreaking lyrics such as “I wanna hold you in the dark / One last time / Just one last time,” and “I never tried to trick you babe / I just tried to work it out.” The guitar riffs softly playing in the background contribute to the emotion and Strokes-like vibe exhibited by the lyrics and overall sound.

While most of the album consists of ballads or deeper songs, there are a few up-tempo numbers that really stand out among the tracklist. Among songs like “The Wolf,” which was mentioned before, the track “Just Smoke” is a tune that you just can’t help but sway side to side to while listening. The warm combination of the harmonies, guitar and drums emanates a summery feel as Mumford serenades about young love. He sings “I thought we were done / And young love would keep us young,” to an exciting instrumental. This song especially shows the little bit of folk they kept in their music so as not to leave any fans uninterested.

The song, “Broad-Shouldered Beasts,” is a nice combination of the band’s traditional ballads and their newfound, upbeat alternative tone. While the verses and bridge are slowed down a little bit and accompanied by minor chords, the chorus is sped up and given a more optimistic ring to it. This song proved to be really pleasant to listen to because of its effortless mixture of different musical qualities and styles, such as the blues influence that is heard during the verses and bridge.

“Cold Arms” has a kind of simplicity that replicates that of Death Cab For Cutie’s song “I Will Follow You Into The Dark.” While this track also uses the minor chords, they work together to produce a short and sweet love song that is easy on the ears and features the hearty but gentle voice that Mumford used for the band’s previous albums that were more folk influenced. Poetic lyrics like “Weekend wreckers take the streets / With abandon in their eyes / But in our bedroom we’re bloodshot and beat,” and “I guess the truth works two ways / Maybe the truth’s not what we need,” leave a somber mood and carry a fragile message across that is heavy in emotion. This track by far is my favorite of the album because of these features.

Even though the album wasn’t what I initially expected and I wasn’t too sure of Mumford & Sons’ new direction, after listening to the album a couple more times, it’s clear that this new style fits the band and didn’t stray too far from their roots. The songs were written well both lyrically and musically and each song had different qualities, making the album very diverse. Overall, the record was enjoyable and it brought a new perspective to the band’s music.

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Mumford and Sons’ new album, new direction succeed