Mumford and Sons, a band that is said to have had maybe one or two radio hits before fading into the background, hasn’t risen to the fame of its “I Will Wait” or “The Cave” eras, but that isn’t to say that their music has been bad, per se. If anything, I would say that their music and sound have been underrated. However, they have failed to be consistent with their quality of music, and their new album “Delta,” released Nov. 16, suffers from the same fate.
Although arguably their best-sounding album, “Delta” proves to be an album that you would pick and choose songs from, rather than listen to the whole thing. It’s a hit or miss. And that may stem from Mumford and Sons’ variable un-extraordinariness as an alternative band, next to rock star alt bands such as twenty one pilots, Imagine Dragons or Coldplay. It’s not wrong that they take cues from such bands, but they fail to use their inspiration to set them apart.
The nostalgic elements of “Delta” carry the album. The opening track, “42,” contains a dreamy and cool crescendo that aptly serves its role as the opening. If anything, their music is more melancholy, which is good or bad, depending on what you’re in the mood for. However, the melancholic tone lends to the genuine emotion of “Delta,” which Mumford and Sons delivers successfully. “Woman,” “October Skies” and “Wild Heart” all boast empathetic choruses reminiscent of the aching emotion of “The Cave” that make you feel like rolling down the window in the car and howling along with the words.
However, the continual nostalgic and melancholy tone of “Delta” is one that loses its sheen when that’s all the album pretty much contains. It would prove more powerful if a few songs were aching ballads or quiet odes, but the fact that I was missing parts of the songs because I could tune out the fairly repetitive tone isn’t something that should occur.
The folk sound of Mumford and Sons, similar to bands such as Of Monster and Men and The Lumineers, also proves to be a defining characteristic of “Delta,” and one they can do well, yet it still did not set the album apart. Sure, “If I Say So” delivers on the edgy, folk sound of the band’s past with a constant guitar beat, but the gloomy lyrics are hard to get by on.
“Delta” attempts to be progressive, and I applaud its efforts, but the electronic beats in “Picture You” and “Woman” don’t make a difference in the sound. Once the band figures out how to properly incorporate more digital sounds to work with their folk and indie theme, they will be able to more successfully diversify their songs. I’m still going to have maybe one or two songs from “Delta” on my playlist. They might disappear if I ever get sick of them, demonstrating their inconsistency in endurance and quality, but for now, Mumford and Sons still produces good music. Their work in general just isn’t something extraordinary. Until then, they’re stuck with one or two Billboard singles and an overall mediocre album.
Hollie Lao is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.