The short answer to this is no.
No offence if you do. Some of the UK’s best bands, favourite producers and most prominent music journos really really like M&S. And Mumford & Sons. But then some real twats also like them. And to be fair that last sentence is a general statement that could be said about any band – middle-class leanings, professional people and music twats alike, like them. Better start getting specific. OK. Sigh No More is, genuinely, a title that could only be thought of by sheer ingenues for its hilarious throwback to the days when writing sigh down as a word was actually dead emo and therefore dead cool in 2004. And some people like that! Their lyrics are lovely, the band members all look like they walked straight out of a posh school, into a Petit Bateau catalogue and out again and, well… SIGH.
Mumford & Sons got it right with the lyrics. And that goddamned banjo. Man, I love banjos. But when you have that going for you and you persuade someone to couple it with the watered down folk-styled-into-anti-folk-folk then it just gets really folkin’ ridiculous…and that’s when it becomes musical abuse.
If you’re a Mumford & Sons fan, and by that I mean, you downloaded just the album and you’ve seen them a couple of times, even with Laura Marling – hang on. You’re liking the wrong band. Wait, wait – bear with me, angry beard, bear with me.
It’s because Mumford & Sons are a better band when you listen to their B-Sides.
Little Lion Man is boring. It’s boring because it follows the Am, C, G, F on capo 5 which we all know and love, but it doesn’t do anything different with it, other than quieten the chords down during the chorus.
Compare that, with the single’s B-Side.
I know. SERIOUSLY WTF, THIS IS MUCH BETTER.
So why didn’t they release it as the single? BECAUSE YOU WOULDN’T LIKE IT. It’s too actual-folk. It just manages to capture a humour both knowing, joyful and melancholic. It’s great until they get lazy at the 4-minute-mark to make it fit with their produced signature, and slow everything down to that one chord thing. Nonetheless, it’s still way too out-there for commerical radio.
If that didn’t convince you, try this one. This song is from their EP Love Your Ground.
It’s slightly less boring! It’s a bit more complex after three minutes!
Finally, there’s this one from The Cave. It’s called Untitled. And it might be their best song, actually. Feels a bit gospelly and bewitching. (*Cheers fcuminspain)
…And feels a little more honest, y’know? A bit less florencepolished? Thought so. Welcome to the world of the B-Side Mumford & Sons fan. As you’ll now know, we’re a conflicted and frustrated bunch: there’s only about five songs tops we can really like. Shame.
Means there’s more room for this:
And this sound-epic: