Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More Review
An explosive medley of instruments and catchy folk tunes, Mumford & Sons debut album Sigh No More, comes across as an unrivaled tour de force that has taken the world by storm.
The Good: Wide range of instruments, great eclectic vocals, beautiful lyrics, very catchy, hits the soul, mind and heart, a great blend of both fast and slow paced songs, well put together, great quality, amazing price, very thematic, overall; a great start for a great new band, notable songs include “Little Lion Man”, “Winter Winds”, “Roll Away Your Stone”
The Bad: Definitely not for everybody, always room for improvement, can get quite a bit depressing, some songs play on like others
Well it’s not for me to say that I didn’t finally fall victim to all the hype surrounding this album, but just seeing so many copies of this album fly off the shelves, I decided that maybe there was something to this band, and that maybe they should be at least worth a listen. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I handed over some of my well earned cash to pick up an album from some band I had never heard of up until that moment. All I had to go on so far was that this album was selling like wildfire, and that was good enough for me.
Just looking through the album itself, the general depiction from the cover conveys a very folksy foray of setting, scenery and instruments. Even though this instant depiction is first set in motion, it is always best to never judge a book by its cover or in this case an album by its cover. Looking onwards into the album and searching through the booklet, it’s difficult not to notice the audacious, forthright, and beautifully lamented lyrics that lay in front of your eyes. The lyrics transcend far beyond the imagination as rich imagery combined with mournful and moving thoughts race past the pages and transform into something that’s so much more.
Going into the first listen through of this album I was immediately and utterly dumbfounded by just how impeccable and powerful the first track was able to resonate throughout me. I found myself clung to this ever resonating medley of instruments that seemed to complement the endearing folksy vocals coming from lead singer Marcus Mumford, whose last name ascribes to the Mumford in Mumford & Sons. After completely listening through Sigh No More I was able to fully appreciate what all this hype had been in relation to. Be it the combination of all my Irish, Scottish, and English blood that just eats this sort of music right up but straight off the bat I found myself partial to this entire album. Not to say that this album doesn’t have its share of faults though.
It’s definitely not going to be the sort of album that catches everyone’s attention. This genre of music has its audience and those that are into the whole folk, indie, or bluegrass style of things will most certainly be interested in taking a listen to this album. Not to say that others won’t like this album either, I’m merely just trying to convey that there is a very distinct sound to this album that won’t pass on the same sort of pleasure it does for me that it will for the next person.
The songs that really struck a chord for me were songs such as “Little Lion Man”, “Winter Winds”, and “Roll Away Your Stone”. All three are very upbeat (albeit the disheartening lyrics), fast paced songs, that have that Irish folk touch that I adore so much. It perplexes me how upbeat a song can become when simply played at a faster tempo even when the lyrics are so discouraging and cheerless. Although I do generally favor the faster paced songs, there is certainly a great mix of both slower and faster songs to be found here.
The thematic qualities of the album are vast and many but seem to strike the same note as most other bands do these days. The main themes touched upon throughout Sigh No More mostly hit the subject matter of love, regret, hope, courage, betrayal, and loneliness. Even though this seems to be the subject matter for most songs these days, the storytelling and imagery that is evoked on this album allows it to stand out from the rest.
For four guys to play so many various instruments and play each so well is just entirely astounding to say the least. Combine that with catchy vocals, harmonies, and rich soulful tunes and you get something that all at once touches the very foundations of the heart, mind and soul. My one main objection to all this is that every song is in some way or another depressing up to a certain degree. There’s the implication that maybe there is no hope in the end for true love or happiness, and it all just starts to wane down on you. The upbeat tempos in a way contrast this point on many songs ultimately negating how depressing the album is as a whole.
Lastly there are a few songs that seem to play like one another and feel repetitive up to a certain point, but the fact of the matter is that this can be easily overlooked by just how properly executed each song sounds. You can tell a whole lot of work went into this album, especially for this being their debut into the market. The sound quality is great, the mastering was well done, and for the price that this album stands at right now is superb. I don’t see any reason not to give this album at least a listen through.
In conclusion Sigh No More is an amazing start for Mumford & Sons, but there is always room for more improvement, and I can really see these guys going far in the industry. So if you haven’t gotten a chance to listen to these guys already, I would seriously consider giving them a quick listen to.