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Back in 2009 and new band came onto the music scene. They were a modest little band playing simple folk music, they took the world by storm and now they are probably my very favourite band around. The band in question are of course Mumford and Sons and their first album was this one, Sign No More. This is without a doubt of my tip five albums of all time, now that's saying something! So here is a little bit about the album and why I love it so much.
The album starts with the title track 'Sigh No More'. This is a magical song that starts of slowly and builds up. The sounds are quite unusual and like very little I have heard before, the music really transports you to another realm. The first track for me is one of the best on the album and really sets the whole piece of music up nicely.
Next up is 'The Cave'. This was one of the singles the band released and the opening riff is instantly recognisable. The quick rhythm of the banjo and guitar so majestic on this track and the lyrics are really powerful too. This is a magical song that again is one of the stand out ones on the album.
The third track is 'Winter Winds', another classic which the band released as a single. This is probably the first song that I ever really stopped and listened to from Mumford and thought, these guys are something special. I can't think of any other album where the opening three songs are so powerful and majestic and utterly brilliant.
Even the forth song is worth a mention, 'Roll Away Your Stone' is yet another one they released as a single and yet again it's one of these magic songs that get stuck in your head.
There are plenty of other good songs on the album but for me there are two more that really stand out. Track 7 'Little Lion Man', this was the first single released from the band and really introduced them to a wider audience. This one is more upbeat than most and is really stunning. Along with this track I also love track 10, 'Awake My Soul'. This is another slow builder that ends so powerfully, pure brilliance from the band.
There are a few slightly weaker songs on the album but they are all worth a listen. This is not an album that I tend to skip tracks on. Lyrically the band are excellent and the production is wonderful. The way all the instruments combine together is very special indeed and creates wonderfully unique sound that is quite unusual in popular music circles.
Sign No More by Mumford and Sons really is a wonderful album and one that I have listened to hundreds of times and will no doubt listen to many more in the future. This really is one of those albums that you keep coming back to time and time again, if you have never heard this album then you really are missing out.
Mumford and Sons came onto the folk-revival scene a couple of years ago, causing a bit of a stir when they won a Brit award for their album 'Sigh No More'. I'd heard a bit of 'The Cave' which showed some promise, so that coupled with a recommendation from a friend who knew I was partial to a bit of folk music and I was all ready to splurge three quid on it on an impulse buy at the newsagent bit of Sainsbury's. Having listened to it twice now, I wish I'd bought a bag of samosas from the deli instead.
Several track in, and it is immediately obvious that it suffers from temporal displacement homogenity, aka 'Foo Fighters Syndrome'. What this means is that you can stick this album on, wander in and out of the room at randomly timed intervals and there will be little to no clue that the track has changed, other than the number on the CD-player display. Opening track 'Sigh No More' sounds so much like 'The Cave' I wasn't too sure if it was the same song or not. In short, every damn song sounds so alike I'm fairly convinced they're all written in the same key; they are at least cut from the same blueprint. Here's the formula: Husky vocals that are singing vaguely about loss set to strummed acoustic guitar. Then the 'rousing' chorus kicks in. Cue thumping tempo when the banjo starts. Then it stops. Repeat for as many songs it takes to fill an album. Win Brit award.
'Little Lion Man' gained notoriety for its repeated use of the 'f' word in its refrain (which sounds suspiciously like every other refrain on the album - more on that later). But before we brand this as a pointed bit of folk n' roll rebellion, it sorely lacks the impact that Rage Against the Machine did when they dropped their radio-bound thermonuclear F-bomb on 'Killing in the Name'. Whereas Rage stabbed their cursing vitriol across the speakers at fascists across the world, Mumford's confession 'It was not your fault but mine/ And it was your heart on the line/ I really f---ed it up this time, didn't I my dear?' makes his supposedly guilty agony come across as no apology at all but instead a thinly veiled piece of attention seeking.
'White Blank Page' is utterly predictable and horrible in its writing. Containing an incredibly annoying vocal line, it couples half-baked lyrics with more frequency than a sixth-form poetry competition: "you desired my attention/ but denied my affeeeeeection" groans out of the speakers with all the irritating predictability of a delayed East Midlands train service.
'Dust Bowl Dance' veers from the formula far enough to provoke some interest, but it's such a badly recorded mess they may as well not have bothered with some brutally punished cymbals drowning out all the interesting piano bits. 'After The Storm' is quite pretty and closes the album well, with some lilting guitar parts and a vocal delivery that doesn't grate. But it's been a wearing, monochrome ride throughout.
The real trouble with this album lies with the delivery of its ambivalent subject matter. While loss and heartbreak and turmoil have been the sources for some of the best pop music ever recorded (Nine Inch Nails' 'Hurt' is a prime example), there needs to be some new angle on it or character to it that gives it an edge. It's also easy to slip into self-pity, which is exactly what this sounds like. Listening to 'Sigh No More' is like wandering into a dingy bar and pulling up a stool next to some sorry-looking character who is openly scribbling poetry and looking a bit intriguing, only to discover that he'll only talk to you in vague riddles about some nameless emotional turmoil in his life and that his poetry is terrible (but he thinks it's really profound) and he will not shut up, no matter how many whiskeys you try to knock back and drown him out. Everything on here is some reference to something, rasped in an earnest, yearning, 'heartfelt' way, but so non-specific and anonymous and hackneyed it's hard to give a damn about the yearning, earnest whatever the hell it is it's about. Did I mention it's yearning and earnest? It's a theme and delivery that will bludgeon you over the head repeatedly with every bland, samey verse and chorus until you endure it to the end, or relent and hit 'eject'.
In summary, this isn't folk music, it's a very lame attempt at it by a band with little imagination. In fact, given its self-obsessed pity-wallowing stance it could almost be described as emo disguised as folk. For a real folk experience, check out Fairport Convention's 'Liege and Lief'. Or for something that blurs the boundaries between folk and rock then 'Songs from the Wood' by Jethro Tull is a masterpiece. And to show that I'm not a total luddite, some recent folk releases that shine are anything by female folk mistress Thea Gilmore, or, if you can find it, 'Courting Autumn' by Pamela Wyn Shannon.
This record sold countless units and you can find it for cheap on Amazon, but I have a feeling that it's a future charity-shop staple, just like Blue's 'All Rise' and that bloody awful Toploader album.
Mumford and Sons are a London based band although their influences clearly come from across the Irish Sea as they combine Irish folk music with some upbeat rocking tunes to create a really dynamic sound and this, their first album that was released in 2009 was their big break through album supported by some excellent live performances on the festival circuit in 2010.
Many of the songs are up tempo and also feature some lovely changes of pace, tracks like Sigh No More and Winter Winds adopt this style to great effect. There are some truly haunting lyrics on many of the tracks and the singers rich tones are really well suited to the style of music that they play.
For me the tracks on this album do sometimes seem to merge into each other and you are not always conscious initially that one song has ended and another has started. I love the beautifully haunting sound of Awake my Soul which has some lovely harmonies and the string arrangements on I Gave You All are just superb.
For me there are no weak links with this album however having said that I can imagine a time when I will become tired of this album however it has had a longer life than many, I'm also not sure whether I would be tempted to buy anything else from the band, it would have to be something special to top this one. What I can say is that, having seen them twice perform live, that they are absolutely brilliant on stage with raw energy and flawless performances they are a real treat to watch.
I would certainly recommend this album to anyone who likes this kind of music as it is well worth listening to.
Sigh No More is Mumford and Sons first album. It was released back in october 2009 and is hugely popular, especially with the indie and folk music fans as the album has a mix of both of these genres aswell as various others mixed in with Marcus Mumford's own little twist.
For anyone who doesn't know who mumford and sons are (surely a tiny perentage of anyone who reads this review!), i'd highly reccomend you give them a listen.
I bought the album back in late 2010 from Amazon for £8. Although there's a limited deluxe version available, i chose to buy the standard edition. The front cover of the CD is oddly simplistic, simply showing what looks to be a terrace shop with a large display window, with all of the band members Marcus, Ben, Ted and Winston stood posing, looking very laid back, with 2 of the members stood with there guitars. It's a simple cover that's not over the top or made to grab someones attetion straight away, and is also unique to the point that it's recognisable. The back contains the tracklist, which i'll now move on to.
Track 1: Sigh No More
This track is 3 minutes and 27 seconds long.
The song's not my favourite but i don't mind listening to it. It consists of mild guitars, starting off slowly but gradually growing and after 2 minutes or so the music becomes frantic with very strong, clear and emotional vocals. This song's definetly one of there blatenetly folk based songs. Although the vocals are strong and emotional, they're still beautifully pronounced and sung with just the right strength, which varies throughout. It's a song based much on love, and lessons learned in life. Not a song i'd personally dance to, but it certiannly gets the mood going in a party atmosphere but is nice to lay and relax to aswell.
Favourite Line: Love will not betray you, dismay or enslave you, it will set you free.
Overall it's a very passionate, well structured song with a balance between vocals and intrusmentals.
Track 2: The Cave
3 Minutes and 37 seconds.
Possibly more of there well known tracks, beautiful lyrics, soft vocals, soft instrumentals but all of these build throughout the song. Marcus sings about various things, mainly fighting to keep a sef destructive person (mainly aimed towards the listener), to keep there hopes high. His tune then turns to a split up type song, and to be honest the lyrics are pretty mixed, with it impossible for me to put my finger on the excact message of the song. I think definetly though it's a message to anyone who feels trapped, to set themselves free from there own personal cave and 'live there life as it's meant to be', in marcus' words. Instrumentals in this song are beautifully well mixed in with the vocals, and the banjo merges in extremely well, adding density to the acoustic guitar and creating a solid beat. The rythm is much more consistent than a majority of the other tracks and is a great one to dance to as it's more upbeat. It is just as emotional as the others, so is also ideal to relax and relate to.
Track 3: Winter Winds
3 Minutes and 39 Seconds.
Another one of there more popular songs. Beautiful instrumentals and lyrics, which are definetly revolved around a man amost falling in love but been to scared to completely dedicate himself to her because he's been hurt before. He explains how beautiful she is and how he thought with his heart and common sense, also explaining that one day they'll be 'washed and buried' (dead), and to make good memories for there children/future children with eachother so they can live on. I'd describe it overall as somewhat of a love letter, made only for the love of his life with his diary of thoughts and feelings when he first met her, with the fear and the hopes of love. His voice is consisten in been strong and emotional, but this song isn't at all shouty and the vocals are steady and smooth, with the banjo and other instruments adding a beautiful vintage type sound that'll make your spine tingle. I think it's one of the most relateble songs on the album, with lines such as "But my heart told my head this time no." Overal the song is more on the indie side but still has the distinct hint of folk throughout.
Track 4: Roll Away Your Stone
4 Minutes and 23 seconds.
Gorgeous song with memorable lyrics. Full of frustration, anger, dismay, the feeling of emptiness, dissapointment and also an undertone of hope, love and hate. Harmonies and the upbeat banjo make the song seem drowned in folkyness! Really good once it gets going, especially when the chorus comes in i'll always find myself singing along and relating to the singer.
Track 5 - White Blank Page
4 Minutes and 14 minutes.
My second favourite song of the album. Pretty much a love-hate themed song with melody type vocals, full of emotions and it has a very acoustic sound to it. The instrumentals pick up aswell as the vocals, with backing singers in some parts. It's somewhat a sad song, and i've often found myself crying to it, with the emotional lyrics, beautifully played violin, and marcus' slightly more high pitched tone mixing with the somewhat erratic guitar. It's a song to remind most people of there ex, and the feelings felt when meeting and when splitting up with them. It's a song ideal for playing on full blast and dancing to by yourself, or with friends. My favourite line is, "Can you lie next to her, and give her your heart aswell as your body?" This is devotion been explained through the eyes of a man in my opinion, if that makes sense. It's no longer a fling when she has your heart.
Track 6 - I Gave You All
4 Minutes and 19 seconds.
Emotional is the word. Soft, husky vocals and stunningly relatable lyrics. Anger, regret.. love. It's all in this song. Very real, with a mix of subjects that all have the same bases; values, love, anger. The guitar is gorgeous and certiannly unedited, with the strings slightly scratching and echoing, adding to the rawness of it all. Marcus' voice becomes more and more desperate throughout to be loved and appreciated, with the lyrics; "You've won, you've won. Now you've won." He's come worse off, mentally/metaphorically, and he doesn't care anymore. Although it's a somewhat depressing song, the consistent change of strength and different emotions in the vocals make it a mixture of feelings when listening. Not much of a folk song, alot more on the indie side.
Track 7 - Little Lion Man
4 Minutes and 6 Seconds.
The song starts off with marcus aiming at someone that they're self sympathetic and it's there own fault that negative things have happened to them, but it soon becomes clear he's talking about himself (in my view of the song) and how he's messed things up and he's sorry but ofcourse it's too late. There's the F word in the chorus which can be cringe worthy if with small children/your parents! It adds to the emotion though and he admits he messed up. Very energetic, it's the indie equivlant of drum and bass and is a definate song for a party to dance and sing along to. Very folk sounding instrumentals.
Favourite Line: "It was not your fault but mine"
Track 8 - Timshel
2 Minutes and 53 Seconds
Very depressing song but beautiful. "Death will steal your innocence, but it will not steal your substance. But you are not alone in this, you are not alone in this. As brothers we will stand and we'll hold your hand." Basically, everyone dies. The harmonies and vocals are very delicate, understanding and simply very different to most songs around. The song is ridiculously moving, with the facts of life displayed and marcus explains, 'i can not move the mountains for you.' translation: 'i love you, but i can't stop you from dieing.' A song ideal for a funeral if i'm totally honest, reuniting the friends and loved ones of the dead.
Track 9 - Thistle and Weeds
4 Minutes and 49 Seconds
My favourite of the album. Another more depressing of the tracks but beautiful vocals and lyrics explaining isolation and heartbreak. His voice is so soft but the impact of the lyrics make you think deeply about a variety of things, including your own experiences with corruption and heartbreak.. loving someone who will never love you back. Gorgeous backing music and instrumentals - of which includes cymbals, the usual guitar and tom toms. It's a song you have to listen to fully understand. "I will hold on." He's been left by the love of his life, in a metaphoric storm of depression but he'll fight to get over it. The ending is much more on the positive side with the instrumentals faster and softer.
Track 10 - Awake My Soul
4 Minutes and 15 Seconds.
Distrust playing on his mind is the stable of the song, aswell as love. Very catchy song with gorgously meaninful lyrics, the song gains strength and intensity throughout as he reveals his true feelings. Not my favourite of the album but it is definetly a good song.
Favourite Line: "In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die."
Track 11 - Dust Bowl Dance
4 Minutes and 43 seconds.
Very emotional song, piano based. It's about a young guy who's father died. He lives in a near deserted town on a farm, struggling to survive in poverty, and he gets kicked off it from a wealthier man with more authority, but his heart and trust lies within the farm. The song revolves around the boys fantasy of going back to the farm and killing the man with a shotgun, who took advantage and threw him off of his land. He explains he'll face what he's done and will do his time. "You are my accuser, now look in my face. You're impression reaks of your greed and disgrace. So one man has and another has not, how can you love what it is you have got when you took it all from the weak hands of the poor?" His pride was broken and he wants revenge. The piano provides the eeriness with drums, a high pitched miced up violin and banjos adding a more upbeat side. Anger seeps through.
Track 12 - After The Storm
4 Minutes and 7 Seconds.
Very, very soft song. Death and love, very depressing but full of wishes and hopes. A song to make most people think. "I won't rot, not this mind and not this heart."
Mix of emotions. Hard to catergorise who would enjoy this album so i'd reccomend to simply look the band up on youtube then go and support them - buy the album!
After their recent success at the Brit Awards 2011, the best album prize winner - 'Sigh no More' by Mumford and Sons is going to be sought after by the curious and the enlightened on itunes and Amazon. Luckily, I bought my copy in 2009 when the album was released so I won't have to pay the inflated price that their Brit Award will now warrant. Hopefully this review will give you a heads up about what to expect from the mighty Mumford and Sons.
If you're wondering why an award was given to an album that was released in 2009, its because the Brits have a 15 month window in which to pick from; this takes into account slow burners like 'Sigh no More'.
Mumford and Sons - a bit of background info
I will show my colours straight away here - I think these lads are amazing and make some beautiful music. They come under the folk genre, but don't let that put you off! I was surprised to enjoy something in this genre and found it to be powerful, moving and pleasing on first hearing this, their debut album. They have been plugging away for a few years now, and from 2007 to 2008 were the backing band for Laura Marling. Fans of hers and Noah and the Whale will probably like the mighty Mumfords as they all have a similar style, but in my opinion Mumford and Sons make the best songs.
The whole album has dynamics that cover moods from highs to lows and each mood is reflected very well in the timbre and tone of the songs. From fist pumpers to weepers, the album has a song for every occasion if you're someone, like me, who associates certain songs with particular feelings (eg - when I think about a teenage crush I had on someone my mind has linked it to Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns and Roses, when I'm down I'll listen to Sad Song by Oasis or pretty much anything by the Smiths and when I'm in a party mood I'll listen to I am the Resurrection by the Stone Roses - the full 8 minute 3 seconds version with the mad dance inducing riot in the last half of the track).
The album was produced by Markus Drays (who has worked with Arcade Fire) and in my opinion he's done a good job of padding out what is essentially a stripped back band - guitar, double bass, accordion andsometimes mandolin, sometimes banjo. A brass section also shows it's face - at its most apt on Winter Winds, giving the song a wintery / Christmassy feel even when listened to in the summer months. There is also a floor mounted bass drum and pedalled tambourine that the lead singer Markus bangs on the livelier parts of the album - I think this adds perfectly to the fist pumping moments and that sometimes less really is best.
Track by track
The four lads from London have made a corker here, I'm glad that the Brits award will give them the exposure they deserve. Here are the songs:
1. Sigh no More. (3.27) Starts off slowly, with a gradual build up throughout the song to a crescendo in the latter half of the song. When the bass drum kicks in, it gives one of Mumford's many head nodding, foot tapping, punch your arm in the air moments. The lyrics say to me that it's a look at love where there has been some damage in a relationship, being sorry, please let's move on. A passionate cry for forgiveness, sung with some great harmonies and feeling. A good start to the album.
2. The Cave. (3.38) With a guitar intro that says "look at how I'm played on a Youtube video", its about a minute before the first drum is banged on this one. To me, the song is asking someone to let themselves be helped as the singer is saying he can help - if they would only come out their metaphorical cave. I know someone who has gone through a bit of a rough patch recently andthey found great empathy with the words to this song - it's serious but with a positive outlook. The banjo works well in this song, as does the way the rhythm section drops off to allow just the acoustic guitar to tap out thepulse to the song, 'in between the loud bits' so to speak. Another display of the band's mastery of building up then dropping off, then building up to a euphoric frenzy whenever they want - hold on if you can and try and stay with us.
3. Winter Winds. (3.39) My personal favourite, to me ittalks about being in love and the fallibility of being in love which can be both a blessing and a curse. The line from the song - "my head told my heart let love grow, but my heart told my head this time no" is one most of us can relate to. The rest of the lyrics are poetry of the sort you would send in a letter to the love of your life This iswhere the brass section is on spine tingling display to best effect along with the fragile beauty of a mandolin counter pointed with the pluckiness of the banjo - on paper it all sounds like a mess but the result in your ears is like being tickled with cotton buds by angels. Honesty time, I've often listened to this song and cried a little - its as moving as Ussein Bolt's trainers and as powerful as his thigh muscles.
4. Roll Away Your Stone. (4.23) Another song that gives the impression of wanting to move away from sadness to a more positive place. It's hard to stay miserable after listening to this one. There's a happy banjo, a banging beat and a sing a long chorus (check out the vocal harmonies). The sign of a good tune is one that's easy to remember and hum along to like an anthem - this track ticks those boxes.
5. White Blank Page. (4.14) Some quite intricate guitar work goes on in this song, but not to the point of overkill as the balance between the fancy guitar and the simple melody sung by Markus is just right. As with a few other tracks on this album, there are some harmonies going on in the chorus that I find it hard not to sing along to (only when I think I won't be overheard by anyone!). Overall it's quite a moody song, a bit of a mood killer in polite company but perfect for moodier moments when by yourself.
6. I Gave You All. (4.20) A good display of an album track which hasn't been overproduced and sterilised of all traces of realism - listen for the guitar strings being scratched by quick fingers searching for the next chord position. The brass section makes an appearance in the second half of this song, adding to the dark mood created by the words. The words are about a man scorned by the one he loves who has thrown a metaphorical brick in his face.
7. Little Lion Man. (4.07) With a chorus catchier than swine flu, just wait till the bass drum wallops the song into shape after the first chorus - you'll be banging your car's steering wheel in time to it whilst sat in a traffic jam somewhere. The lead singer, who is also the main guitarist, plays an arthritis inducing rhythm on this one that gives the song a beat and a pace which is fast, frenzied and furious. Surprisingly, there is quite a strong swear word in this song which is easily heard (it rhymes with duck, cluck and muck) so if there's kids in your car you might want to do some tactical coughing over the potty mouth moments. A likeable catchy tune, one of my favourites from the album but not the favourite.
8. Timshel. (2.53) This is the song they performed live at the Brits 2011 Awards, which I thought was an excellent display of the band's ability to harmonise in songs with beautiful words and a simple yet catchy melody. The song is about offering to make someone stronger and better when they've got death at their doorstep, its very moving and a definite spine tingler, but not sung to a mournful tune. As with a few other of their songs, hope shines through where darkness floods the view. As they sing, "you are not alone in this", I imagine being cuddled from a big brother who's turned up to wave a magic wand and make everything better.
9. Thistle and Weeds. (4.50) One of the more downbeat songs on the album but don't mistake downbeat for weak and lightweight, it's a heavy song with a dark feeling that still packs a punch. There are some drums in this song, mainly tom toms and cymbals which give the track a padded out feel which is uncommon on the rest of the album. Not one of my favourites, but important as it gives the album it's dynamics.
10. Awake my soul. (4.16) Honest words sung along to a catchy tune, it's another Mumford track that has harmonies more in tune than a yamaha pitching fork. Gaining strength through a relationship is the theme of this song, and the song itself gets 'stronger' as it progresses, with the addition of the bass drum, more intense guitar playing and solid vocal harmonies.
11. Dust Bowl Dance. (4.43) A piano provides the background for a song which, again, builds up, drops off and builds again towards the end a noisy, angry, reflective mood. Also, it has a rare appearance in a folk song from what sounds like an electric guitar, although it could be a mic-ed up violin, I'm not 100% sure.
12. After the Storm. (4.08) A song with a hopeful message about a time when things will be better against a sad background of someone thinking about the finality of death. Sounds more serious than watching Newsnight and Question Time back to back, but honestly it's not that bad!
My biggest hope for the band is that they don't fall into the trap of the second album syndrome as have many other bright new things in the music industry's past - Reverend and the Makers, The Music, The Gossip etc. That would be a sad loss as I hope to hear many more belters from the boys in the years to come. Another hope is that now the Brit award has raised their profile, many more people will discover their music and enjoy this album as much as I do. It's probably in my top ten all time favourite albums and I'm scanning their website frequently to find out news of a second album release date - more of the same please boys. Long live Mumford and Sons.
Oh, glory, a return to traditional folk music. I cannot say just how much I am delighted at the prospect of hearing more stuff like this. I simply delight in listing to the smooth sound of four part harmonies, passionate lyrics and an instrument that simply doesn't get enough attention - that wonderful banjo!
Though they are connected to one of my favourite artists, I would only compare 'Mumford' to Laura Marling in genre. Their sound has something about it, perhaps a more *cringe* masculine quality that changes the way the lyrics are sung and the music is produced. Where it is soulful and haunting in places, as in 'Thistle and Weeds', this music is energetic and even manic in others, thanks to the bluegrass twang on tracks like 'Roll Away Your Stone'. It is reminiscent of a genre that many people were in danger of forgetting, or even more tragically never even knowing about, and to introduce this to a new audience couldn't be better. It is a delicious mix of the old and the new.
There is only one part of this album that I don't like, and this is where you'll mistake me for a tightly buttoned sixty year-old headmistress who would like to bring back corporal punishment. I'm not, but I am saddened that a lovely track like 'Little Lion Man' is ruined by the perhaps pointless use of one word. You know the one I'm talking about. I know sometimes this sort of language is used to make a point, but the only point here seemed to be that they spoilt a great song with silly potty mouth. And I hate myself for this criticism but I just cant see why it was done. It seems out of character, being the only swearing on the whole album!
Casting this petty criticism aside, this album is perfect for somebody who simply drools over the opportunity to harmonise; this music is simply sing-along-able, and I cannot get enough of it.
I first heard of this band when we went to Australia and since then I have been a big fan and the sound is a mixture between light rock, indie and sort of folk music but I feel there is a song on the album for everyone because there is a good mix of slow and fast songs. You can play this album from track 1 to 12 without needing to skip a track and that is rare.
Sigh No More
This being the first track I must admit this is the only track I don't listen to very often because it sounds like an introduction but a very good one it starts off very quite and sounds like a ballad and gets faster towards the end. There is big pause at the beginning and doesn't get going until it reaches 2 minutes.
This is one of the singles off of the album and has a brilliant guitar tune at the start of the song and can really hear why this is such a good success the breaks between the verses and the chorus is a really catchy beat. The lyrics are not repetitive.
At the beginning this so sounds like an acoustic guitar I have listened to this song a number of times but isn't one that I put on repeat. The Chorus is fantastic and this song has a very folk tune to it in my opinion. This song has a lot of variety and changing sounds throughout.
Roll Away Your Stone
The introduction to the song sounds like a ballad and then gets faster when the verse starts and the next part to the song is very fast. This song is clever because you think it's slow but then turns out to be very good.
I Gave You All
This song had to grow on me to begin with because I need quite a upbeat song to catch my interest but I just realised that I had to listen to it all the way through to hear what another good song this is there is so much emotion in the instrumental parts. This song gets stronger as the song goes on the lyrics are really powerful.
Little Lion Man
Not much to say about this one it is the first single on the album and is so fantastic that it just shows how brilliant this band are. The strong tune at the beginning I think is unique and when I first heard this I thought I have never heard anything as brilliant as this. This is defiantly the song to put on repeat!
This is the first ballad you will here on the album and is all about the lyrics it's nice to listen to its still a good song but a little slow not a song that I would listen to but good albums need songs like this.
Thistle and Weeds
I find this song very clever because there is a lyric in it that says 'rain down on me' and then there is an instrumental part right after and the music sounds like rain. Its Brilliant.
Awake My Soul
This song blends with the ending of the previous one and this feels like the next part to the story. If you listen to the lyrics it's quite an emotional and heartfelt song. This is another one of the slower songs on the album. It speeds up towards the end like a lot of the songs do.
Dust Bowl Dance and After the Storm
These two songs is a good ending to the story of the album and you can feel that the album is coming towards the end because they have a different feel to them Dust bowl Dance really feels like someone is on there own in a big field when the lyrics say at the beginning 'no one in the field'. The last track is a true ballad and don't listen to very often still a good song to end with though.
This album is the one of the best ones I have ever owned and heard and never get bored of it 5 out of 5.
Mumford and Sons released their album in October 2009 and since then has been growing in popularity. The boys are made up of:
Marcus Mumford (vocals, guitar, drums, mandolin)
Winston Marshall (vocals, banjo, dobro)
Ben Lovett (vocals, keyboards, accordion)
Ted Dwane (vocals, double bass)
and reportedly came up with the name to sound like a family business. The album is pure genius with lyrics really climbing inside you and finding your emotional strings and plucking at them one by one, with a combination of wonderful vocals, harmonies and interesting instruments to go with the that.
The guitar, banjo and mandolin really give a change from the music that is the "norm" of today which makes them sound completely original.
Key songs that you should listen to are (Sigh No More) beginning the story with a creepy start and a dramatic ending, (The Cave) a catchy little number with interesting lyrics that really paint a picture, (Little Lion Man) One of my favourites a song that sounds like he is addressing himself and trying to figure out what happened during a bad relationship.
Mumford and Sons may not be for everybody but if you enjoy rock, folk rock or folk then you are in for a treat.
I think I am going to against most of the reviews for this album and will probably end up with lots of comments as a result but here goes. I really thought after winning the Brit award for best album I would have been more impressed.
The front of the CD should really have give me a clue about how i would find this album .The cover is plain and contains very little excitement. I have now listened to it a few times but i have come to the conclusion that I don't really like this album, I found it far to dreary and most of the tracks are too alike the whole way through.
I really liked the singles, such as "the cave", as i felt that it had quite a good mix of folk violin and quirky poppy sound that would make your feet tap along. So with that in mind I was quite looking forward to listening to 50 minutes or so of good music. But half way through I was very close to turning the whole thing off.
It seemed to be the same tone of voice through its duration and the lyrics on the remaining tracks didn't really do much for me either. I think I should have just stuck with the singles the cave and winter winds and downloaded them individually. I will still be listening to such anthemic tracks as "lionman" but i think for me mumford and sons are better in small doses. You also need to be aware that there is a mild sprinkling of bad language on the album which may offend some people.
Not enough variation in style on this album for me:
I really wanted to like this album but it just never happened for me
Sigh No More
Roll Away Your Stone
White Blank Page
I Gave You All
Little Lion Man
Thistle & Weeds
Awake My Soul
Dust Bowl Dance
After The Storm
Mumford and Sons album sigh no more has definitely been the soundtrack to my winter.
The desolate weather we have experienced was matched brilliantly by the heartfelt tones of lead vocalist and sympathetic backing music.
His voice, and that of the backing vocals, has a 'tired' quality of someone who seems to be emotionally drained in some way, and the lyrics seem to be a plea to the listener rather than a statement or a story. I often found the lyrics to have a very personal quality as opposed to other bands where I feel as a third person looking in, from this quality you get the impression that the words are extremely heartfelt, and time must have been taken over writing. The acoustic musical arrangement that accompanies this extra ordinary vocal talent is sympathetic to the vocal styles. A subtle blend of strings and horns gives the whole sound of the band a slight Irish twist.
While the description so far may give the impression of melancholy about the album that thought could not be further from the truth. The string arrangement, which to my untrained ear sounds like a blend of fiddles, guitars and banjo's is uplifting throughout even during the slower moments where the tempo can be described as a slow strumming and picking, can explode effectively in to a raucous chorus often accompanied by a lift in the horn arrangement to a soaring blast. This sudden change gives the songs an uplifting triumphant edge, as if a great hurdle has been overcome.
Each song has its individual merits and there is definitely no 'filler' although some a clearly stronger than others and I developed my favourites quickly and they have remained the same since.
Having listened to the album repeatedly it has gained a firm place on my Ipod and I can't see it being removed in the near future. I am now very eager to hear anything new from Mumford and Sons, and I am hoping that the wait wont be too long.
I stumbled across this band purely by chance by hearing the song sigh no more on a tv advert , ive never really been into folk music , but this band play in a style that means , their music is enjoyable by almost every one , some of my favorites are thistle and weeds , sigh no more ( of course), little lion man ( which you may have heard on the radio) and winter winds , being honest there isn't really a track on the album I don't like , I find all 12 songs ones I can listen to when im down , or when I need to relax or to dance around to ( not a sight to be seen) also bonus material can be obtained from their web site if you have the cd in your drive and then pop along there you can get 4 acoustic tracks for free
the band formed in 2007 and if they keep producing music like this I can see a whole new generation of folk music lovers ( or for the ipod generation indie music)
I for one cant wait for the next album from this band
Brilliant album. It is an original hot new album that deserves much of the praise that it has been getting over the past few months. It is similar in style to Johnny Flynn. Including the single hits (not my favourite!) Little lion man and Sigh no more, it also offers a number of other great songs. Frequenltly the genre of folk has been sneered at and classed as an old person choice of music. However the upbeat and catchy nature of these songs appeals to all. From gospel choir to individual solos, the album covers a number of different ideas and themes. Each individual and engaging. The lyrics are good, not fantastic, but it is the music which provides the backbone to these track and have raised and obsucre band into the limelite and celebrity culture of the mainstream british music industry. Sigh no more thourghly deserves its topping of the aussi charts and i would recomend this album to anybody.
I have been listening to this album on Spotify since I was told I might like it by iTunes Genius.
My honest opinion is that this album is incredible. I put it on when I want to chill out and have found the music to be exceptionally calming with lovely charming lyrics.
"But tell me now where was my fault, in loving you with my whole heart?"
- White Blank Page
This is by far my favourite track on the album. It raises a lump in my throat and is laced with pure emotion. Vocals are outstanding and give the track depth and a raw edge.
Other stand out tracks are 'Little Lion Man' which was released as a single back in August so is probably one you will recognise. I love this song. It has a really uplifting quality to it and definately one I've put on repeat a few times.
'Winter Winds' is also standout for me. It's so melodic and takes you on a journey. It has such a lovely folky vibe to it with lovely peaks and crescendos'.
'Roll Away Your Stone' is also a favourite.
My overall feel of the track is that if some of the great poets such as John Donne and Andrew Marvell were still alive today, then these are the words they would be writing.
I always tend to rate an album by whether I can put it on and listen to it without skipping through some of the tracks. This for me is one of those albums. Not a single dud track.
Will it be one of those albums that goes down in history? No... But it is certainly a part of my music history that I will keep returning to again and again.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Sigh No More
2 The Cave
3 Winter Winds
4 Roll Away Your Stone
5 White Blank Page
6 I Gave You All
7 Little Lion Man
9 Thistle & Weeds
10 Awake My Soul
11 Dust Bowl Dance
12 After The Storm