“Wilder Mind” Falls Flat

The British rock band Mumford and Sons released their third studio album on May 4, 2015. “Wilder Mind” falls into the trap of radio-friendly 2015 American “rock n’ roll.” The album combines the genre’s most common elements– big percussion moments, electric guitars, warm melodies, and superficially endearing lyrics– to create a work that’s altogether “fine,” but nothing special. Listening to the 12 tracks the album holds will be a pleasant experience for fans of the genre, but definitely won’t inspire any emotional revelations or connect to a new fan base. And– sadly– none of the tracks feature the band’s trademark banjo sound.

  1. Tompkins Square Park– The opening song on the album’s opening lyrics set the stage for the rest of the listening experience. “Oh babe,” begins what seems like an insincere apology from a high school boyfriend that can be applied to any romantic situation. It’s written with such fake emotion, favoring “#thefeels” instead of heartfelt feelings.
  2. Believe– This song lumbers along slowly before building up to a loud explosion of disbelief for a past lover’s attempt at reconciliation. I don’t mind the track, but it does remind me of the background music for a climatic event in a cheesy romantic movie or sitcom.
  3. The Wolf– While fast-paced and uplifting, the incredibly repetitive beat of this song makes me want to skip it. It’s a bit to heavy on the same exact guitar chords and drum notes if you ask me.
  4. Wilder Mind– I really liked listening to this song, but it’s main “conflict” of figuring out life in a confused haze as you realize you don’t really have anything to lose, is very over done and a “traditional” rock concept.
  5. Just Smoke– As a fan of the old Mumford and Sons and their awesome banjo, the heavy rock melody focusing on crashing cymbals and low bass guitar blocked out any meaning to the lyrics and any chance of me enjoying this song.
  6. Monster– This is my favorite song on the album. The melody reminds me of a blend between Mumford and Sons and other indie bands, like Arctic Monkeys– the producer of which actually collaborated with Mumford on this album.
  7. Snake Eyes– Another good song on the track. The melody and the lyrics are enjoyable, and my only complaint is that the vocals seem to be drowned out by the surrounding electronic and drum blend.
  8. Broad-Shouldered Breasts– Most reminiscent of a traditional Mumford and Sons song, “Broad-Shouldered Breasts” is comprised of a good melody (I only have fault with a few strangely twangy guitar notes) that encourages a lover “not to succumb when they feel the world wrapping around their neck.”
  9. Cold Arms– I enjoyed that this track sounded so different from the rest, with straight and honest vocals paired only with an electric guitar. However, the song does seem to be trying too hard to adhere to the “rules of rock n’ roll.”
  10. Ditmas– One of multiple tracks named after places in New York City, “Ditmas” takes its moniker from a neighborhood in Brooklyn. The title doesn’t seem very important however– the song is just another version of a cry for love.
  11. Only Love– The slowest and quietest track, “Only Love” is peaceful and calm, but an incredibly monotonous and overdone version of a typical love song.
  12. Hot Gates– “Hot Gates” again reminds me of a Mumford and Arctic Monkeys blend– so I enjoyed it. The lyrics are spaced out, nicely broken up by interludes of electronic and guitar melodies.

Mumford and Sons was so focused on becoming an incredibly successful and notable band that they lost their unique sound and true passionate voices in a desperate stooping down to what the “masses wanted.” The band chose to create an entire album of generic love songs, and I can’t help but finish it feeling a little unsatisfied.