On Friday, Nov. 19, banjo-bumpin’ indie folk rock band Mumford & Sons released their fourth studio album, “Delta.”
After changing up their sound from whimsical folk music with foot-stomping banjo from their first two albums, “Sigh No More” and triple-platinum “Babel,” to a more contemporary indie soft rock with their third album “Wilder Mind,” “Delta” keeps the trend, but with some gospel undertones.
If I heard one of their songs from “Delta” on the radio, I would think I was listening to a contemporary Christian station.
The first track, “42” sets the tone for the rest of the album — it’s very mellow, but is accompanied with an orchestra and has a Bon Iver-esque vibe. To kick off the album, it’s evident that the boys of Mumford & Sons put a lot of love and work into this record. Was it worth it, though? I’m not sure it was.
I can see where “Delta” is a bit hit or a miss. I think for long-time fans, they will appreciate the experimentation with a new sound, but I can also understand where fans might hate it and wish they would go back to their roots. For me, I fall into the latter category.
“Delta” was a miss for me. While musically it’s very beautifully conducted and the effort is clearly there, it falls short in that it all sounds the same. I’m not sure Marcus Mumford’s gritty voice is cut out for an orchestral backdrop.
The star of the record is the track “Woman.” Taking from their “Johannesburg” collaboration with Senegalese singer Baaba Maal from the South African pop group Beatenberg and Malawian-British group The Very Best, it has the best beat on the record and adds a little spice to the otherwise boring tracklist.
While listening to the album for the first time, I was halfway through and hardly even noticed that the songs had changed. The similarities from song to song are the main reason this album won’t be a hit like their past albums “Sigh No More” and “Babel.”
I remember the first time I heard of Mumford & Sons. I was watching the 2013 Grammy Awards and instantly fell in love with their amazing talent as they played instruments many other bands wouldn’t dare touch — the banjo and the double bass.
As much as I love Mumford & Sons, I’m sure I can speak for everyone when I say that I hope that after this sad flop, they realize how they captured hearts with their debut and go back to their roots.