Categories :

Similar artists

Albums

HI-RES£10.99£20.49(46%)
CD£7.99£14.49(45%)

Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
English folk revivalists Mumford & Sons' 2009 debut, Sigh No More, boarded the slowest train it could find on its journey from regional gem to pleasantly surprising, international success story. After simmering and stewing throughout the U.K. and Europe, the band landed boots first at the Staples Center for a rousing performance at the 2011 Grammy Awards that found the smartly dressed quartet tearing through "The Cave," and then backing, along with the equally snappy Avett Brothers, Bob Dylan on a generation-spanning rendition of "Maggie's Farm" that provided one of the better Grammy moments of the last decade or so. They may lack the lyrical prowess of "The Bard," but they know how to turn a phrase, plant a seed, and build a bridge and tear it back down again without losing the audience in the process. Simply put, they can bend the relative simplicity of traditional folk music to their collective wills, which is exactly what they do on their sophomore outing, Babel. It's also exactly what they did on their debut, and short of being a little rowdier and raspier, Babel feels less like a legitimate sequel and more like an expanded edition of the former. Working once again with producer Markus Dravs, who helmed Arcade Fire's Grammy-winning opus The Suburbs, the Mumford boys have crafted another set of incredibly spirited songs that bark much louder than they bite. Ballsy, pained, fiery, and fraught with near constant references to sin, salvation, and all of the pontifical hopes and doubts that lie between, most of Babel is caught between the confessional and an apocalyptic hootenanny, delivering its everyman message with the kind of calculated spiritual fervor that comes from having to adapt to the festival masses as opposed to the smaller club crowds. Tracks like "Hopeless Wanderer," "Broken Crown," and the vivacious title cut bristle with moxie and self-importance, but feel like a ruse, aiming for the parking lot with the kind of generic, turgid melodrama that always overshoots its mark, leaving another smoky hole in an already pockmarked landscape. It's a shame because there's some potential here, especially when the group eases back on the Me Street Band histrionics. Two albums in and Mumford & Sons still sound like a band fused to the starting block, paralyzed by the thought of having to truly race for their lives. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
HI-RES£16.99
CD£12.49

Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
English folk revivalists Mumford & Sons' 2009 debut, Sigh No More, boarded the slowest train it could find on its journey from regional gem to pleasantly surprising, international success story. After simmering and stewing throughout the U.K. and Europe, the band landed boots first at the Staples Center for a rousing performance at the 2011 Grammy Awards that found the smartly dressed quartet tearing through "The Cave," and then backing, along with the equally snappy Avett Brothers, Bob Dylan on a generation-spanning rendition of "Maggie's Farm" that provided one of the better Grammy moments of the last decade or so. They may lack the lyrical prowess of "The Bard," but they know how to turn a phrase, plant a seed, and build a bridge and tear it back down again without losing the audience in the process. Simply put, they can bend the relative simplicity of traditional folk music to their collective wills, which is exactly what they do on their sophomore outing, Babel. It's also exactly what they did on their debut, and short of being a little rowdier and raspier, Babel feels less like a legitimate sequel and more like an expanded edition of the former. Working once again with producer Markus Dravs, who helmed Arcade Fire's Grammy-winning opus The Suburbs, the Mumford boys have crafted another set of incredibly spirited songs that bark much louder than they bite. Ballsy, pained, fiery, and fraught with near constant references to sin, salvation, and all of the pontifical hopes and doubts that lie between, most of Babel is caught between the confessional and an apocalyptic hootenanny, delivering its everyman message with the kind of calculated spiritual fervor that comes from having to adapt to the festival masses as opposed to the smaller club crowds. Tracks like "Hopeless Wanderer," "Broken Crown," and the vivacious title cut bristle with moxie and self-importance, but feel like a ruse, aiming for the parking lot with the kind of generic, turgid melodrama that always overshoots its mark, leaving another smoky hole in an already pockmarked landscape. It's a shame because there's some potential here, especially when the group eases back on the Me Street Band histrionics. Two albums in and Mumford & Sons still sound like a band fused to the starting block, paralyzed by the thought of having to truly race for their lives. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
CD£13.49

Alternative & Indie - Released November 16, 2018 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Don't take the title of Mumford & Sons' fourth album literally: maybe it's named after the birthplace of the blues, but Delta doesn't have much to do with American roots music of any kind. Working with producer Paul Epworth -- a Grammy winner for his work with Adele who also helmed efforts by U2 and Rihanna -- Mumford & Sons pick up where Wilder Mind left off, choosing to expand that 2015 album's glossy adult alternative instead of abandoning its refined aesthetic. The twist Epworth introduced lay entirely in the studio. He had the band bring in their trademark acoustics but treated these old-fashioned instruments with a host of digital effects, so they rarely sounded like a guitar and banjos. Perhaps this had a liberating effect on Mumford & Sons, allowing them to jam and create in ways both familiar and new, but it's hard to hear a kinetic spark on Delta. Rather, it's a measured and subdued affair, proceeding at a deliberate pace and unfurling at a hushed volume; even at its loudest moments, it seems quiet, even muffled. This kind of well-manicured production, when paired with a series of songs focused on internal journeys, ultimately has a lulling effect. There is a pulse, but it's soft and turned electronic. There is emotion, but it's been intentionally encased in a digital cocoon, one that flattens the group's bold accents (such as an embrace of vocoders) and turns Delta into soft, shimmering background music, ideal for any soothing setting you'd like. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
HI-RES£19.49
CD£13.99

Alternative & Indie - Released May 4, 2015 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Hi-Res
CD£12.49

Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2009 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

English folk outfit Mumford & Sons' full-length debut owes more than a cursory nod to bands like the Waterboys, the Pogues, and the Men They Couldn’t Hang. The group's heady blend of biblical imagery, pastoral introspection, and raucous, pub-soaked heartache may be earnest to a fault, but when the wildly imperfect Sigh No More is firing on all cylinders, as is the case with stand-out cuts like "The Cave," "Winter Winds," and "Little Lion Man," it’s hard not to get swept up in the rapture. Like their London underground folk scene contemporaries Noah & the Whale, Johnny Flynn, and Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons' take on British folk is far from traditional. There's a deep vein of 21st century Americana that runs through the album, suggesting a healthy diet of Fleet Foxes, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Blitzen Trapper, and Marah. That melding of styles, along with some solid knob-twiddling from Arcade Fire/Coldplay producer Markus Dravs, helps to keep the record from completely sinking into the quicksand of its myriad slow numbers -- tracks like "I Gave You All," "Thistle & Weeds," and "After the Storm" are pretty and plain enough, but they neuter a band this spirited. Sigh No More is an impressive debut, but one that impresses more for its promise of the future than it does its wildly inconsistent place in the present. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
CD£12.49

Rock - Released December 3, 2012 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

With just two studio albums under their belts, it’s an awfully impressive feat that Mumford & Sons can command an audience as big as the one that showed up at their 2012 stop at Colorado’s legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre, but as evidenced by their 2011 Grammy Awards performance, they manage to bring the same amount of energy to the stage as they do to the studio. They’ve been going at a steady clip since the release of their sophomore outing, Babel, which divided critics yet managed to debut at the number one spot on both the U.K. and U.S. album charts. That a group specializing in English folk could turn the heads of so many Yanks would be more surprising if their music weren't also steeped in American bluegrass (almost every one of their songs eventually descends into an easy-to-clap-to hoedown) and this handsome little souvenir offers up a nice snapshot of their unexpected international dominion. Recorded live over two nights in 2012 during the folk-rockers' highly successful Gentlemen of the Road tour, this special collectors box, which is really more of a fancy, hardcover CD book, includes both the audio version and the DVD of the Road to Red Rocks film/documentary, the deluxe edition of the Markus Dravs-produced Babel, a classy collection of photographs that chronicles both the Red Rock show and the more intimate Gentlemen of the Road stopovers, the usual liner notes, and various other Mumford-inspired snacks, resulting in a truly "Deluxe" version of one of 2012's most financially successful releases. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
CD£1.49

Alternative & Indie - Released October 23, 2019 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

CD£4.99

Alternative & Indie - Released June 17, 2016 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Booklet
It'll come as no surprise that an EP called Johannesburg carries a considerable South African undercurrent to its rhythms and productions. It's a musical element heretofore unheard of in Mumford & Sons' music but it's not an uncomfortable fit, even if Johannesburg often brings to mind both Paul Simon's pioneering Graceland and, especially, the light lilt of Vampire Weekend. Unlike Simon, who built songs upon existing rhythms, Mumford & Sons collaborate with Baaba Maal, Beatenberg, and the Very Best, and this give and take brings the group closer to the globally minded urban pop of Vampire Weekend: despite all the African inflections, it sounds recognizably Mumford & Sons. Tellingly, it feels like a close cousin to the arena-filling moodiness of Wilder Mind but the songwriting is tighter and livelier and the band doesn't amble: Mumford & Sons proceed with intention, making this into a listen that's not only more compelling than their 2015 full-length, but one that suggests ways they could grow. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
CD£3.49

Alternative & Indie - Released October 4, 2019 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

HI-RES£2.49
CD£1.49

Alternative & Indie - Released March 20, 2020 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Hi-Res
CD£15.49

Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2010 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

English folk outfit Mumford & Sons' full-length debut owes more than a cursory nod to bands like the Waterboys, the Pogues, and the Men They Couldn’t Hang. The group's heady blend of biblical imagery, pastoral introspection, and raucous, pub-soaked heartache may be earnest to a fault, but when the wildly imperfect Sigh No More is firing on all cylinders, as is the case with stand-out cuts like "The Cave," "Winter Winds," and "Little Lion Man," it’s hard not to get swept up in the rapture. Like their London underground folk scene contemporaries Noah & the Whale, Johnny Flynn, and Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons' take on British folk is far from traditional. There's a deep vein of 21st century Americana that runs through the album, suggesting a healthy diet of Fleet Foxes, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Blitzen Trapper, and Marah. That melding of styles, along with some solid knob-twiddling from Arcade Fire/Coldplay producer Markus Dravs, helps to keep the record from completely sinking into the quicksand of its myriad slow numbers -- tracks like "I Gave You All," "Thistle & Weeds," and "After the Storm" are pretty and plain enough, but they neuter a band this spirited. Sigh No More is an impressive debut, but one that impresses more for its promise of the future than it does its wildly inconsistent place in the present. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
CD£17.99

Alternative & Indie - Released May 4, 2015 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Who could blame Mumford & Sons for running away from their signature banjo stomp? Come 2015, when Wilder Mind saw spring release, so many bands had copped their big-footed folk jamboree that Mumford & Sons could feel the straitjacket constricting, so it's not a surprise that the group decided to try on something new. A change in fashion isn't strange -- no band wants to be pigeonholed -- but the odd thing about Wilder Mind is now that everybody else sounds like Mumford & Sons, Mumford & Sons decide to sound like everybody else. Without their old-timey affectations, the band seems interchangeable with any number of blandly attractive AAA rockers, a group that favors sound over song -- a curious switch for a purportedly old-fashioned quartet. Sometimes, the band do swing for arena-filling hooks and connect -- the quietly escalating "Believe," the incessant surge of "The Wolf," "Ditmas," which is the only song here that would scale to bare-bones acoustic arrangements -- but usually they subsist on a simmer, letting their immaculate, tasteful rock bubble quietly without ever threatening to spill over the edge. Often, the persistent, moody murmur recalls a diluted Kings of Leon, a comparison that can't help but underscore how Mumford & Sons have made the journey from retro throwback to glistening modern construction. Where once they carved their music out of reclaimed wood, they're now all steel and glass -- a bit sleeker but also a bit chillier. Such a description suggests this is a big shift, but it's all surface: underneath that exterior, Wilder Mind is the same Mumford & Sons, peddling reasonably handsome reconstructions of times gone by. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
CD£13.99

Alternative & Indie - Released May 4, 2015 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Who could blame Mumford & Sons for running away from their signature banjo stomp? Come 2015, when Wilder Mind saw spring release, so many bands had copped their big-footed folk jamboree that Mumford & Sons could feel the straitjacket constricting, so it's not a surprise that the group decided to try on something new. A change in fashion isn't strange -- no band wants to be pigeonholed -- but the odd thing about Wilder Mind is now that everybody else sounds like Mumford & Sons, Mumford & Sons decide to sound like everybody else. Without their old-timey affectations, the band seems interchangeable with any number of blandly attractive AAA rockers, a group that favors sound over song -- a curious switch for a purportedly old-fashioned quartet. Sometimes, the band do swing for arena-filling hooks and connect -- the quietly escalating "Believe," the incessant surge of "The Wolf," "Ditmas," which is the only song here that would scale to bare-bones acoustic arrangements -- but usually they subsist on a simmer, letting their immaculate, tasteful rock bubble quietly without ever threatening to spill over the edge. Often, the persistent, moody murmur recalls a diluted Kings of Leon, a comparison that can't help but underscore how Mumford & Sons have made the journey from retro throwback to glistening modern construction. Where once they carved their music out of reclaimed wood, they're now all steel and glass -- a bit sleeker but also a bit chillier. Such a description suggests this is a big shift, but it's all surface: underneath that exterior, Wilder Mind is the same Mumford & Sons, peddling reasonably handsome reconstructions of times gone by. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
CD£1.49

Alternative & Indie - Released May 10, 2019 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

CD£1.99

Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2009 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

CD£2.49

Alternative & Indie - Released February 22, 2019 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

CD£2.99

Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2010 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Recorded in Delhi, India in a makeshift studio at an arts and culture school with traditional Rajasthani musicians, Dharohar Project, Laura Marling & Mumford & Sons features four collaborations, including multicultural mash-ups of Marling’s spirited “Devil’s Spoke” and Mumford & Sons’ “To Darkness.” © TiVo
HI-RES£2.49
CD£1.49

Alternative & Indie - Released May 8, 2020 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Hi-Res
CD£1.99

Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2010 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

CD£1.49

Alternative & Indie - Released March 20, 2020 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Artist

Mumford & Sons in the magazine
  • Return of the Banjo
    Return of the Banjo On their previous album Wilder Mind, Mumford & Sons had left their soft banjo sounds and bright folk behind. But on this Paul Epworth production, the London band have gone back to their true love.