Review: Mumford & Sons – ‘Believe’

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3.0 Boring

Mumford & Sons miss the mark with their latest single.

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Mumford & Sons have just released a new single, called ‘Believe.’ It was described in a press release last week as a ‘significant departure’ from their earlier work. “Hooray!” Cries the populace. “We all love this band, but by God they are same-y. Finally, something different!”

Well, save your breath: it’s crap.

At best it’s a rip-off of Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto B-sides. At worst it’s just really, really boring. They’ve forgone their signature folky sound for floaty electric guitars and traditional drum kits, and created a song that, if it wasn’t by Mumford & Sons, could easily be mistaken for hold music. The first half of the song is Marcus Mumford singing a simplistic, repetitive melody with simplistic, repetitive lyrics, and the second half is the same thing, just louder. In a disappointing move away from the previously imagery-rich lyrics with religion expertly woven into the narrative, they have opted for run-of-the-mill girl-trouble stuff that honestly sounds like it was written by a soppy love song lyric generator: “Say something, say something/Something like you love me.” Le sigh.

Here is the story of a band that found something that really worked: angry banjos. Their first album rocketed them up to a position of headlining Glastonbury festival and everyone knew all the words to ‘Little Lion Man’. Then they repeated the formula on Babel, to muted praise, and realised they couldn’t keep going that way. Sadly, this single has demonstrated that they lack the imagination to alter their sound sufficiently to keep the public’s interest. Being good at one thing and one thing only can only get you so far, and ‘Believe’ unfortunately sounds like the end of the road for Mumford & Sons.

‘Believe’ is available on Amazon and iTunes.

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