You’re not going to find too many bands that say things like “yeah, our next album’s basically gonna be exactly like our last few.” It’s frowned upon in most musical worlds to repeat yourself so explicitly—hell, even The Ramones had to make their third verse a little bit different from their first every now and then. Still, not everyone gets to be Radiohead, constantly reinventing themselves throughout their career—some bands kinda just do what they do, and for them, that’s good enough.
Mumford & Sons are one of the latter types of band. You know the deal with them—you’re gonna get some banjo, some foot-stomping, some heartfelt and mildly confessional lyrics, a big emotional swell towards the end and a nice cathartic final chorus. You’re also not gonna get much in the way of guest rap verses, EDM beats, big guitar solos or really anything particularly denotative of the last 50 years of popular music.
We’re not going to be the band that stands for folk music or for organic music…We’ve always done what feels good, rather than what we’ve thought long and hard about, and we’ll do whatever feels soulful next, whether that’s with an electric guitar or a synthesizer.
It means that you actually do have to switch it up musically a little to back it up. And regardless of what you thought of Babel vs. debut album Sigh No More, “switching it up musically” was certainly not the name of the game on that one.
So don’t think we’re gonna forget about this quote, Mumford. If you come back for round three and it’s still just more banjos, foot stomps, quasi-confessions and emotional swells, we’re gonna call you out on it, for sure. We wanna hear some fucking synths and guitars, or something on a similar plane of audacity. Cowbell. Laser noises. Dialogue amples from Scarface. SOMETHING.