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Mumford & Sons’ new album ‘Delta’ needs to be dealt with by josephine yee

It has been almost a decade-long journey for the alternative folk band Mumford & Sons, consisting of three album releases that have gained an unprecedented amount of popularity over time. Over the duration of their first two album releases, they proved to the world that folk music could be just as enjoyable and free-spirited as alternative music. Their memorable song, “I Will Wait,” is one of the nostalgic anthems that made an unlikely impact on the popular front of the music industry. However, in their third album, “Wilder Mind,” released in 2015, the band surprised listeners, myself included, with a strictly alternative rock album, ditching their notably frequent banjo solos and fiddle work. Now with “Delta,” their newest full-length studio album, Mumford & Sons desperately attempts to rebound from their previous album in efforts to reinforce their traditional roots, while simultaneously including pop-themed songs.

Simplistic yet artistic Mumford & Sons’ album art for ‘Delta’ depicts the four band mates Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall and Ted Dwane.

Overall, about one third of the songs on the album are plainly mediocre. The third song on the album, “Woman,” is a great example of an generic pop song—unimpressive with straightforward lyrics combined with a recurring beat throughout almost the entirety of the song. The song wasn’t unbearable, but when listening to it for the first time, I thought that it simply seemed out of place compared to the band’s traditional music style. “Rose of Sharon” is another bland pop song that fails to impress, as it does not provide a refreshing sense of uniqueness whatsoever. It also has repetitive beats, but with a mixture of dull clap-sound effects and minimal electric guitar riffs. Songs like these do not add any value to the album; instead, they simply lower the quality of the work as a whole, which subsequently undermines the songs that actually deserve recognition.

Despite the abundance of generic songs in the album, there are a few enjoyable ones. “Forever” has a catchy chorus along with pleasurable chords and rhythms. Unlike other songs featured on “Delta”, it successfully provided me with a sense of connectedness to the song due to its well-constructed lyrics and empowering instrumentation. In addition, the first single from the album that the band released, “Guiding Light,” is a free-spirited tune, conjuring positive feelings with its uplifting sound and heartfelt vocals. It reminded me of the enthusiastic songs featured on their previous albums, and I wish that these type of songs would be more prevalent throughout this album.

If gaining more popularity is Mumford & Sons’ goal for this album, then they should continue with their experimentation of pop-influenced music, because it seems to be what consumers enjoy. According to Billboard, the release for “Delta” was the biggest week for an alternative rock band this year, consisting of 230,000 album sales. The quartet also reached their position as number one album in the United States for the third time. However, I believe that they should stray away from this pitfall. Bands like Imagine Dragons and Coldplay have been very successful in mastering the art of making enjoyable alternative music mainstream, but this band would be much better off if they stuck to their folk roots.

Mumford & Sons’ latest album, “Delta,” consists of only a couple memorable tunes and a few too many pop songs that fail to add diversity to the album. There was nothing particularly outstanding about this album, and their previous releases have had much greater outcomes. In the next few years, when they release their next album, they will hopefully decide to come around, returning to the style of music that they have been producing since the beginning of their career.

Photos courtesy of Gentlemen of the Road, Island Records, JamBase, Larry Busacca

Credits:

Gentlemen of the Road, Island Records, JamBase, Larry Busacca

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