Mumford and Sons break away from old reputation with “Delta”

Jessica Leydet, Social Media Editor

British folk rock band Mumford and Sons released a new album, “Delta,” on Friday, Nov. 16. After taking the leap into the modern age with their previous album, “Wilder Mind,” they decided to take this one and go even further.

“Delta” is nowhere near comparable to the band’s 2009 break out album “Sigh No More.” In fact, I am not afraid to argue that this album is a desperate attempt to reclaim their reputation. This album may appeal to what’s trending right now, but I think most of us are still attached to their former coffee shop charm and identifiable stripped-down banjo tunes.

After the release of the band’s second album, “Babel,” their banjo player said in interviews how much he actually hates to play the banjo. The entire band followed suit and took no time to confess that when they were playing folk instruments, they didn’t actually know what they were doing — man, did they have us fooled.

The track “Woman” is definitely not one I’d hear on the radio and figure out just by the opening instrumentation that it is Mumford and Sons — and that is probably what they wanted. The love song is carried by a wiry pop loop rather than a raw plucky folk instrument accompaniment.

“If I Say” seems to follow the same cookie-cutter, love-professing lyrical approach. The repetition of the chorus “If I say I love you, then I love you,” was a bit disappointing. They paired it with a heavily orchestrated build up, and it leaves you wanting more.

The track “Forever” also features a string orchestra — could this be their new staple? I’d take a banjo solo over this any day. Although in this song, I found it to be a better match with lead singer Marcus Mumford’s soft raspy vocals. The lyrics, again, just aren’t very engaging.

“Rose of Sharon” was better at telling a story than most of the other songs on the album. I felt engaged with both the music and lyrics. “Come crashing in like a wildfire, I’m left in awe of you/ Every time I close the door, I’m left wanting more of you” is just pure magic and I want more of this.

They really saved the best for last, with the title track. This one hit home with the lyrics, “And I’ll meet you at the delta/ What’s behind, I can clearly see/ But that beyond, that’s beyond me.” I interpreted this as the band’s new anthem: they are now moving on from the past, and they are more concerned with what lies ahead.

I give this album a 3.5 out of 5 stars. It pains me to listen to a Mumford and Sons album and not be able to take away any sort of genuine feeling whether it be profound joy or sadness. I miss the old Mumford and Sons because they could tell a story. In the title track they said, “Tell your stories/ Tell of your pain/ That’s what I came here for” and that’s exactly what we need more of from them.

3.5 out of 5 stars