ALBUM REVIEW: MUmford & Sons - Wilder Mind

MUMFORD & SONS ... Wilder Mind (Island)

MUMFORD & SONS ... Wilder Mind (Island)

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FOR all the fans Mumford & Sons have gathered in recent years, there have been an equal numbers who’ve found their waistcoat-wearing banjo-wielding shtick embarrassing and unbearable.

Having endured the backlash, it seems the latter camp now includes the band themselves, and as such spend their third album denouncing much of which made them so massive in the first place.

Yes, that’s right; Marcus Mumford and company have “gone electric,” in a shift they boldly claim will “freak people out.”

That, of course, is nonsense - Wilder Mind is no experimental departure, but rather safe, commercially-viable indie, falling somewhere between Coldplay’s wafty stadium balladry and The War on Drugs’ serene widescreen Americana.

It’s still not entirely convincing, but there’s no doubt that it’s a vast improvement, with rousing anthems like Broad Shouldered Beasts and Only Love showing a new level of proficiency - if not flair - in their writing. 6/10. AW