Mumford & Sons

Sigh No More

Written by: TL on 13/04/2010 22:11:52

A while back, I was recommended to listen to a band called Mumford & Sons, whom I had never heard about, by an acquaintance I rarely talk to, let alone about music. Still though, my friend sang praises so loud that I allowed myself to be convinced to require the band's first album "Sigh No More", and upon listening to it, I discovered that my friend might have been on to something, so naturally, I made note to prepare for a review of the album.

As it turns out, Mumford & Sons are a four piece from London, who manage to seamlessly blend elements from indie and alternative folk, into a cocktail that is surprisingly easy, not only to enjoy, but also to remember and to be immersed in. Their musical expression is fronted by troubadour-like vocals that tell stories on par with Glen Hansard (of The Frames), Frank Turner and Aaron Weiss (mewithoutYou), which are often backed by the fellow members in chorus sections. Guitars and drums are aided by old fashioned equipment like upright bass, banjo, dobro, mandolin and horn, which all add up to a very traditional, folky sound, which is played mostly at a fleet footed pace, effectively bringing to mind Arcade Fire songs such as "Keep The Car Running".

All of that should already give you the idea that not only are we dealing with something rather unusual for modern music, there should also be potential for quality in a record by such a band. And indeed, "Sigh No More" has several strong numbers to contend with. Right off the bat, "Little Lion Man" and "The Cave" stand out as obvious fix points for your attention, both bouncing their way into your memory with sticky choruses and endings that surge with climactic impact. And soon enough, the deep-felt tenderness of the story-telling and balladic "White Blank Page" and "I Gave It All" (the latter of which really brings The Frames to my mind) will go to work on you, appearing more and more as songs that you will want to sing along to in a live setting with an accelerated heartbeat.

The rest of the album, while of a less immediate impact, is not below par either. Yet while Mumford & Sons manage to sustain and successfully vary their dramatic song writing over the course of "Sigh No More", their brilliance lies not as much in that, as in the fact that the album reeks of being easily enjoyable to fans of indie bands such as the ones I've already mentioned, and The Decemberists, and Manchester Orchestra, and so on, as well as fans of more mainstream music, such as say, Kings Of Leon. Actually, the only question that really remains to be asked here, is if not this record will have grown by the end of the year, to demand a bigger grade than what I feel it it's currently worth. Time will tell, but for now, you should know you need to listen to this, from the fact that I'm giving it an:

8

Download: Little Lion Man, White Blank Page, The Cave, I Gave You All
For The Fans Of: The Frames, Battle Creek, Frank Turner, The Arcade Fire
Listen: myspace.com/mumfordandsons

Release Date 05.10.2009
Universal / Island Records

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