Album: Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More

Wait no more – possibly the album you have all been anticipating more than any other this year is finally here – hurray!  Sigh No More is the much-hyped debut album from the folk force charging its way in to ears and hearts all over the country – Mumford and Sons.  12 tracks of classic Mumford tunes – think your dad’s old folk records meets Welsh men’s choir for a hillbilly hoe-down in a pub in Ireland on a rainy evening.  [Breath!]

For the many long-standing Mumfords fans out there, this album will not fail to please.  It’s everything you expect.  However I do wonder if maybe it didn’t quite blow me away as much as I’d have hoped.  When the quality of Mumford’s back catalogue is so strong, you listen to
this album with such high expectations, and hear a steady stream of strong, beautiful songs.  The only flaw (and its a minor one) is that such consistency leads to complacency – sometimes an album needs some downtime to really bring out the highlights. 

But actually I think the real problem is that the great songs on this album are the ones we already know and love.  And having discovered Mumfords as the mind blowing live act that they are, I can’t help but feel that some of that force got lost when it was reined in for the recording studio. Disregarding the nit picking of one hard-to-please fan – this is, of course, an incredible album.  Essentially it strings together all the old favourites with more of the same.  And just to prove that they aren’t one trick ponies – check out penultimate track “Dust Bowl Dance” – dropped in at the end to remind us that Mumfords will always manage to knock your socks off when you’re least expecting it.  And the beautiful and appropriately named “After the Storm”, the perfect end to a near-perfect album.

Be jealous of all the M&S virgins out there who get to hear these beautiful songs for the first time with naive and innocent ears, and remember how blown away you were the first time you heard Mumford and Sons.  Because they are about to discover their favourite new band.

Words: Mary Liggins