Mosaic / Reviews / May 13, 2015

Mumford and Sons fails to impress

Graphic by Griffin Belzer/TKS

Graphic by Griffin Belzer/TKS

Mumford and Sons have always been a band I can turn to and just relax. When I heard they were sneaking away from the folk roots to more of an alternative feel, I was a bit conflicted. “Wilder Mind” tries its best to validate this decision, but ends up feeling a bit tame.

 

  1. “Tompkins Square Park”

This is actually a very solid opening track. The little flare in the vocals during the chorus is extremely catchy, and the somber tone to the track overall is great. It drags on a little longer than it needs to, but honestly, it’s consistent enough to push on through.

  1. “Believe”

Being the first single off the album, I was let down by this track. I thought it was boring and generic, definitely not fulfilling the Mumford and Sons sound of old. After the initial acceptance of change, though, I find myself enjoying it more. I still wouldn’t say this is one of the best tracks on the album due to the boring nature of it all, but it’s not that bad.

  1. “The Wolf”

I’m not sure why this track is getting so much attention right now. It doesn’t do much for me at all. The basic drum beat that plays throughout is repetitive and dull, and the same can be said for the vocals. This is as generic as it gets. I just don’t really enjoy it at all.

  1. “Wilder Mind”

This track has a very similar feel to “Tompkins Square Park,” and that’s a good thing. The slow-paced, evened-out feel is balanced throughout, and it never loses its touch. The vocals sound vibrant and alive, coupling nicely with a soft-toned instrumental structure. This is a worthy title track.

  1. “Just Smoke”

Again, the band finds itself rehashing the same old material. This track is simply filler, nothing more. There is nothing new here, it’s just a generic mashup of uninspired drums and repeated vocal patterns. At this point, it’s getting a little annoying.

  1. “Monster”

For being titled “Monster”, this song is quite timid. The song flows very slowly and never picks up its feet. I can’t dock a slow song for being slow, but at this point in the album, I need a kick. There is no factor to this song that keeps me coming back, and that is a problem. After three listens, I would be surprised if it’s ever on my mind again.

  1. “Snake Eyes”

This song is exactly what this album needed. It starts of fairly slow, not doing much to add anything new, but when it cuts at the bridge, it just explodes. The way this track goes about pacing from slow to quick-hitting is wonderful, and the overall tone is fantastic. It’s a rare time on this album where the drums change it up, the guitars sound inspired and the vocals aren’t bland.

  1. “Broad-Shouldered Beasts”

Honestly, I am very conflicted on this track. The overall presentation of sound is fine, and there are certainly aspects that I really like. The strings sound incredibly beautiful and I love the pacing, but it’s just not that special. I was hoping for some little kick to push it over the edge, but I was left a little disappointed.

  1. “Cold Arms”

If this song was any longer, it would have been a failure. Fortunately, the band did this one just right. The simple, acoustic premise is charming, and it sounds very sincere. As I said before, the length of this track is just perfect, not too long but not too short. I am very happy with how this one turned out.

  1. “Ditmas”

Not much to say here. It’s just another rehashed, boring song. The vocals here do sound at least somewhat alive, but every other aspect is simply half asleep. These are the types of songs that ruin a record. No substance, all filler.

  1. “Only Love”

I’m getting bored of repeating myself here. This track is nothing special. It continues the same formula as many other tracks: slow intro, fast-paced finish. Where is the originality? The drums play the same beat, the guitars play the same riffs and the vocals croon the same old sounds.

  1. “Hot Gates”

I don’t understand why this band is so persistent with these slow tracks. You’d think you’d want to close out an album with something exciting, something memorable. This track fails to do this in any way. It simmers out to a slow finish and leaves a boring album without any sort of a spark. It’s quite a shame.

Favorite Track

“Tompkins Square Park”

Final Thoughts

Mumford and Sons failed to provide any new sense of life to their sound. “Wilder Mind” sounds bland and never picks up its tracks with any sense of excitement. There are a few gems in the bunch, but for the most part it is an album of generic fillers.

Rating

4.5/10

Mitch Prentice, Mosaic Editor

Tags:  band folk folk music mumford and sons music

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