West London-based Mumford & Sons is a folk/indie-rock band that favours atypical instrumentation, conjures up a unique sound, and appeals to a wide range of listeners. Emerging from what some in the media have labeled as the “West London Folk scene”, Mumford and Sons features four 20-something multi-instrumentalists and close friends: Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall, and Ted Dwayne. The English foursome joined forces in December 2007, bonded over a mutual appreciation of folk, rock, country, and bluegrass, and adopted the stage name of Mumford & Sons to give the band a familial connotation. Four years and several live performances later, Mumford & Sons achieved widespread, multi-platinum success with their unique brand of music. Following their performance at the Grammy Awards in February 2011 (alongside Bob Dylan, nonetheless), the band found itself topping music charts, having sold millions of copies of their debut album, Sigh No More, worldwide.
However, in the cynical and judgmental world that we live in, it is impossible for any artist - regardless of their success - to go without criticism. Personally, I am a fanatic for the Sons’ songs, which are rich in emotion (musically and lyrically) and electrifying in their deliveries; they combine a variety of instruments (i.e. an electric banjo and a mandolin) with those more commonly heard in popular music, creating a totally new listening experience and a truly unique sound. Every word is sung with passion, and every instrument sings its own song. Yet, others have not been as approving; some critics have even dismissed Mumford & Sons as “Coldplay with a banjo”. Whatever the critics say, the Sons’ star-spangled success is a reality, and surely looks lik...
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...a of instruments. Although some critics may disagree, I find the Sons to be refreshingly unique, especially with their instrumentation. Lyrically, Mumford & Sons lay their hearts on their sleeves and compose songs full of substance. On a superficial level, the music of Mumford & Sons is super entertaining, melodic, and singable. However, the music of Mumford & Sons encompasses a repertoire of songs that are seemingly complex, multifaceted, and open to interpretation. The abstract lyrics and complex melodies provide listeners with the opportunity to read between the lines to reveal a more personal meaning.
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