While Mumford & Sons has been blowing up the airwaves since 2009’s release of Sigh No More, I’ve enjoyed some of their songs, but was never really sold on the band. They felt like a passing fad…a folksy response to the copy-and-paste pop that struck a chord with many listeners. That said, “Believe”, the lead single on their third album Wilder Mind is an absolutely gorgeous and more refined song for the band.
To open, the song is a simple but brilliant vocal display of bold restraint with minimal accompaniment (yet, you still notice it pulling the song forward), then the song nearly stops, pulling into a guitar riff which kicks off a race for the finish. Even the latter half is a mix of signature Mumford & Sons grit with a more modern and polished feel.
Some of that probably comes with the dichotomy of the music with the lyrics. They music is building, encouraging and hopeful, while the lyrics are full of frustration, pleading and discord. That offset leaves me with an odd pulling of emotions, which makes it feel like the song is running the entire gamut.
Yes, you can draw some parallels with their earlier “I Will Wait” release, but “Believe” is a far more complex and refined song that makes me appreciate the full quality of this band as far more than a passing fad.