So, I’ve held off on posting about this album for a while… when I first heard Mumford and Sons, there was this crazy rush of excitement (“thank god, finally a 2009 sound worth raving about!”) that I thought might colour an album review. So I’ve purposefully sat with this album now for the past week, holding off on posting so that I would have enough time to let it sink in.
And yes, I’m still going to rave about it.
“Sigh No More” is exactly the kind of album that Mumford and Sons needed to make. Although the album contains quite a few songs that have appeared on their past two EPs, the production has afforded them a level of… well, grandiosity that their previous releases kept hidden. Just take a listen to the opening few tracks, particularly “The Cave”, with its awesome horn section, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
For those who haven’t heard the band before, the sound is predominantly a mixture of bluegrass, country, folk, and freakin’ awesomeness. There’s a term I hesitate to use too much on this blog, and that’s the description “soaring”. But soaring this album is, and you’d be hard pressed not to imagine choirs of voices joining in with most of these refrains at a live performance by the band.
Which is not to say the album is perfect, by any means. It’s clear the band is still coming into its own, and there are one or two missteps… both “Timshel” and “Thistle and Weeds”, for example, fall somewhat short of the rest of the album for me. But, for the most part, you can overlook these missteps purely for the potential and passion that the band show, even if they do somewhat overshoot themselves sometimes. And, putting myself out there, overall I’d call this one of my favourite albums of 2009… top 3 at least.
Below, two tracks of the “Sigh No More” album. The first, “White Blank Page“, is an example of the emotion Marcus Mumford’s voice can convey (and has been featured on this blog before), and the second, “Dust Bowl Dance“, is a banjo-led slow burner that somewhere along the way – although you might not notice it until it is too late – morphs into all-out destruction. Sheer beauty.
Listen. Love. Support.