Tuesday, May 5, 2015

New Mumford & Sons: Wilder Mind

With the release of their third studio album, Wilder Mind, the Mumford & Sons boys have shed the banjos, but not the anthems.

Citing production assistance from The National's Aaron Dessner - which you can hear off the bat in the strong album opener, "Tompkins Square Park" - the famed Brits have constructed big, emotive odes that, in essence, aren't dissimilar from their first two albums. They're gorgeous. But, this time, it's arena-rock; it's harmonic, swelling and often times heartbreaking, but without the twang that skyrocketed them to mainstream folk success. While the soft points and little bits of Mumford formula remain, Wilder Mind has some pretty electric moments.

One thing is for sure, Marcus Mumford has never sounded better. Booming with conviction, he sounds revitalized after turning this new leaf - one that could carry him out of those career-defining folky confines ("it just sounds so Mumford-y") and into the same boat as Bono, Chris Martin, Adam Granduciel and other captivating, stadium-savvy frontmen. And, not to worry, his vest may be gone - but he's still the same poetic lyricist we came to love six years ago.

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