Lets Talk About...Mumford & Sons and Their New Sound

Three years ago Mumford & Sons swept the world into a banjo-fueled frenzy with their sensational album "Babel", the Grammy award-winning follow-up to their debut record "Sigh No More". Their sophomore effort would spawn the highly successful single 'I Will Wait'. A song that would subsequently propel them over the threshold of indie acclaim and into mainstream acknowledgement.

In the time following their breakout success, they would face adversity and eventually announce an indefinite hiatus. Should they return, the group made mention of leaving the genre (a new wave fusion of folk/rock) that had sealed their success, behind. Translation: so long acoustic, hello electric.

As with any act that makes the decision to change up their initial genre, there can be transitive turbulence in finding the same artistic groove that had been achieved in previous work. In the case of 'Believe', it is clear Mumford & Sons are still working out some of the kinks.

The debut single off of their upcoming album “Wilder Mind”, 'Believe' is the first single to forge into true rock territory. In its favor is the compelling craftsmanship of the electrified instrumentation and frontman Marcus Mumford's vocals, which still stir with his trademark blend of soulful solemnity.
So what's missing you might wonder? It's mainly the lyrical component. The hymn-like quality of their earlier material’s reverent fortitude and willful ambition is lost in the fray. The cutting denouements that had seared into the very life force of past lyrics feels slightly vacant here. Putting a point on the matter is that this isn’t the first time the group has spoken of believing.

In 'Hold on to What You Believe' they dealt with the theme in a deftly rousing approach. This 'Believe', while rich in sonic flavor, lacks in the foot stomping vivacity of its predecessor; diminishing its repeat-ability quotient, in the process. The majority of that issue lies with the departure from folk and with that the infectious liveliness it provides.

In all fairness to Mumford & Sons, it's just the beginning of their genre switching journey and there's reason to hope this is the tip of an iceberg filled with creative promise. If any band has the capability to evolve towards further greatness, it’s them.