“Wilder Mind” — Mumford and Sons


Back in the spring, I wrote on Twitter dot com that you die twice: One is the run-of-the-mill death we’ll all suffer once the earth is completely underwater and only the top of Mt. Trumpmore is visible above the waves.

The second, more devastating time is when you realize the Mumford and Sons of “Sigh No More” and “Babel” is gone.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing. They wanted to change their sound, and I’m good with that. I mean — it’s like, OK, so pretend you’re a parent. You have a kid, right? Your kid’s name is, I don’t know, something innocuous, let’s just say it’s Marcus, and he’s in a folk band that’s incredible but then he and his friends hang up their banjos and denim jackets and change their music and you cry uncontrollably at a truck stop. That’s the perfect way to describe it.

I’ve resisted listening to any of their new music. I listened to the first half of “Believe” back when it was released, but I couldn’t make it all the way through. It was weird, like when you hear a word that you know is a word but it just doesn’t taste right in your mouth or ring right in your head. So I turned it off.

Since I’m probably going to come off as a little shit throwing a tantrum because a band he likes stopped playing music exactly the way he desired it, I’ll say this: I get why they wanted to change their sound. Like I said, I’m good with it. I’m not bitter.


But I finally listened to the album. OK.

Whenever I talk about how I was scared listening to “Wilder Mind” would ruin Mumford for me, the conversation turns to: Would you like it if it weren’t by Mumford and Sons? If your memory was “Men in Black’d” and you knew nothing prior to “Wilder Mind,” would you like the album?

I don’t know because that movie is fictional and about Will Smith killing aliens. But I don’t think I would.

Some of “Wilder Mind” sounds a lot like The Killers post-“Sam’s Town.” Which is good music, but I’m not as into it as I am “Hot Fuss” and “Sam’s Town.” The difference is, it was a gradual shift for The Killers to become that English rock band that they always sort of were.

It’s just not for me. The electric guitar is so weird to hear from Mumford. (We’re moving past the hypothetical where I haven’t heard them before. Keep up.) I can’t really explain it. It just isn’t music I like. That sucks to say because I really want to keep listening to them, and I’m sure they’re devastated to hear I’m lukewarm.

It’s a huge bummer that the Mumford I knew, the band whose concerts were the best I’ve been to, has moved on. I haven’t, and that’s because I’m a petulant child. I’ll always want more songs like “Babel,” where the energy and emotion is so palpable and loud you can feel it filling the air around you. But, as I said in my speech at my sister’s wedding, joy dies when you get older.

My fears weren’t realized. Listening to “Wilder Mind” didn’t ruin Mumford for me. But it will change how I listen to their old stuff, and it did make me think of my #genius #twitter #content from last year. We all die twice.