Album Review: Mumford and Sons, 'Wilder Mind'


Mumford & Sons, 'Wilder Mind'
Mumford & Sons, 'Wilder Mind' (© 2015 Glassnote Records)

     If you expected the banjo-backed harmonies of Sigh No More and Babel, then Wilder Mind might surprise you. Mumford and Sons ditched their banjos and picked up electric guitars for their third studio album; Wilder Mind reveals the band's ambitions to be more than the niche alt-folk sound they helped to define. They walk away from a genre that they helped to popularize while other bands try to replicate their success.

For a band who have moved from clubs to arenas, the bigger sound on Wilder Mind makes perfect sense. Prior to release, the band revealed two arena-ready songs: "Believe" and "The Wolf" are anything but subtle as Mumford and Sons embraced the production of James Ford (who has produced Arctic Monkeys, Haim, and Florence and the Machine).

As they aim for a bigger and more British-sounding rock album, the essence of the band is still present on their third album. Marcus Mumford's voice anchors the 12 new songs on Wilder Mind as the band explore new instrumentation and arrangements. Critics will aim their sights on the band's attempt at a new sound, but ultimately, music fans will be the judges of how the album is received.

Think of Wilder Mind as Mumford and Sons' debut album as a rock band. It's a new sound that marks a new direction in the band's career and a renewed interest in one of England's biggest success stories.

Audience ratings for this album

Among The Current's listeners who submitted a rating for this album, 50 percent gave it either 4 or 5 stars; 20 percent gave it 3 stars and 30 percent gave it 1 star. Poll closed at 12 noon on Friday, May 8.

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