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Monday, March 4, 2024
The Observer

Meet Mumford & Sons at the "Delta”—album review

You may know Mumford & Sons as the “banjo band.” They prominently catapulted to fame back in 2010 with their debut album “Sigh No More,” bringing in new, yet old, sounds into the mainstream alternative rock stratosphere. The unique group’s earlier hits like “Little Lion Man” and “I Will Wait” always grabbed my attention.

Whenever I put my old school iPod Nano on shuffle back in middle school — raise your virtual hand if you’ve been there too — I would take a moment to listen a little more closely to songs like “The Cave” simply because they reminded me so much of those folk songs you hear in movies set in the 1930s. It was different, however; there was much more soul put into it thanks to Marcus Mumford’s insane vocals. That’s why I was so disappointed in their third studio album, which came out in 2015, “Wilder Mind.” I was seriously looking forward to it. All of the sudden, however, Mumford & Sons decided to go into a more “rock-y” direction, losing what made them stand out in the first place.

That is not the case with what I believe to be Mumford & Sons’ comeback LP, “Delta.” “Delta,” although similar to “Wilder Mind” in that it distances from the “banjo” sound that Mumford & Sons is usually affiliated with, is rich with exciting material. The band plays around with sonic background noises, a strong bass and percussion, and poetic lyrics that desperately tug at the heartstrings.

It’s a dreamy, emotional journey of an album, asking for deep love and closeness. These collections of songs all share a common theme in that they fear loneliness, calling for inspiration from past loves that, to me, may or may not be the best people to be inspired by, as seen in the riveting “Guiding Light.” Although frustrating and redundant at times, this constant premise is so painfully real.

Songs like “Picture You” and “Woman” may sound similar to Coldplay’s recent radio hits, but they are incredibly fun when listened to closely. “Rose of Sharon” is ridiculously romantic, possibly capable of warming even the coldest of hearts.

And finally, “Delta,” the final track on the album of the same name, is an odyssey of its own. Starting slow and patiently, then building up into an epic, cathartic cry for meaning, Mumford roars about his desire to share his love through storytelling. He asks his audience, however, to listen and “walk with him” in order to do so. Running at over six minutes, “Delta” is the most powerful song that Marcus Mumford and the gang offer on the entire LP.

Overall, “Delta” is different to an extent.  This album is, admittedly, a little more pop-py then what the average die-hard Mumford & Sons fan is used to. But trust me. Breathe. Close your eyes. Give it a chance. After all, that is what Mumford & Sons’s message is to us at the end of the day: to listen.  

Favorites: “Slip Away,” “Delta,” “Rose of Sharon”

French Crosses: 5/5

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.