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Mumford and Sons takes it back to their roots with a twist in their new album Delta.
They turn from the alternative rock guitars they played in their previous album Wilder Minds back to the banjos which helped catapult them into becoming a big name in music. However, producer Paul Epworth puts effects on the instrumental giving the album undertones of jazz and even rap.
Delta also gives their fans a better view of their dynamic as band and insight into the things the members wrestled with throughout the years. Band member Ben Lovett describes the themes of the album as the four D’s: divorce, death, drugs, and depression.
With lyrics that help the listener understand what the different members have gone through, the album as a whole speaks to who Mumford and Sons truly is.
The band wants their fans to know that they are more than banjos and acoustic sounds. They don’t want their music to trap them into making the same sound and feelings; they achieve that with Delta.
The leading single on the album “Guiding Light” tells a story of someone being estranged from their love but never losing emotion for her. The lyrics talk about how their love will always be there for him especially in the darkness.
The band chose this song to be the first single because it connected their previous albums to Delta. This song makes the acoustic and the keyboard come together to have a fast beat which emphasizes the feelings the lyrics convey, and it bridges the album’s new messages from their previous album’s vibes.
The song “Beloved” tackles the experience of watching a grandparent die.
Lyrics like “pointing at the light we never see/as you put your feathered arms over me,” and “time is not on our side/but I pretend that’s alright,” help the listener connect to the experience.
When a grandparent dies, one has to deal with the certainty that old age is inevitable, but this song brings peace and understanding to that realization.
Some critics, however, don’t agree that Delta achieves its purpose. Writer from Rolling Stone Magazine, Jon Dolan, believes that the album is “overwhelmed by its ambitions” and that the somber tone to the album is too extreme.
The tone might be darker than what Mumford and Sons are known for, but this album lets their fans feel more connected to the band’s personal experiences, making the album relatable.
Lovett explains that “life happened to us” and that’s why this album speaks about dark subjects.
Bands that are able to connect their personal lives to their music in a way that makes the listener feel connected are bands that know the purpose of music.