I like Mumford & Sons. And ultimately, I guess, I really like this record. I think I said it about Deer Tick and again in this case there is nothing really new or ground breaking going on on this record.. It’s just a collection of really good songs. But I guess I have 2 problems. Firstly, for me, it feels like a collection of good songs rather than a well thought out and constructed record, an art which I think is slowly dying simply because the album is becoming less and less important to people. Such a shame. But that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong. Secondly, by the end of the album all I really wanted to hear was just one song that started quietly and stayed quiet throughout. It was my biggest issue with the Broken Records album and it’s my biggest issue with this album too. They do deliver on my wish but it does not happen until the very last track of the album, almost like an afterthought. And it’s a stunning track to close. Had they taken it to a loud climax I probably would have thrown my lap top across the room in frustration. I really do believe that if they dropped that track somewhere earlier in the album then my opinion of the record would be significantly altered or even if they had kept just one other tune down instead of swelling the aggression like they do at the end of most songs. It’s like ‘A Small Stretch of Land’ by Meursault. There could not be a more perfect moment in a record to drop in such a beautiful song. A moment to breathe. The calm before the storm begins again in earnest. Mumford & Sons don’t do this and it frustrates me. Again though, these are just personal taste issues. Ultimately, this is a really good record which I am really enjoying listening to. Stand out tracks for me would be ‘White Blank Page’, ‘I Gave You All’ and album closer ‘After The Storm’.
As an aside, I made comment on Songbytoad that ‘Little Lion Man’ had moments which reminded me of Frightened Rabbit. And these moments are definitely evident on other tracks too. For the avoidance of doubt though, I do not think that Mumford and Sons sound like Frightened Rabbit. But they do remind me massively of Meursault if the electronics were removed from Pissing on Bonfires. Marcus Mumfords voice is also so close to Neil Pannycook’s that at times it scared me a little listening to it. There are so many reference points on this record though and I wouldn’t’ want to pin the band down to sounding like bands they probably know little about. In its own right, this is a really good collection of songs and I’d definitely recommend people check it out and come to their own conclusions. Enjoy.
TSP Grade = B