One of my clearest and sourest memories from high school comes from when I told a friend that my favorite band was Mumford & Sons. This friend was a talented and hardworking jazz musician, one whose musical opinions I valued. He scoffed and said, of my most beloved band, “They can’t play.”
I was heartbroken. I probably came home from school and aggressively listened to Sigh No More, their only release at the time, and sighed much more, and thought: This was great music. These men were geniuses. My friend was mistaken.
He was not mistaken.
The band’s latest two albums signal a sadly permanent departure from their debut folk/pop sound, a formula that stole the hearts of white people around the world. But now Mumford and his sons have forayed bravely into the world of… mainstream pop mixing. And while, by definition, this sound works out commercially for most who adopt it, the make-your-own-Coldplay kit doesn’t fit for Mumford & Sons.