‘Wilder Minds’ is a different sound for Mumford and Sons

If you’ve been hearing music on the radio or in local coffee houses and thought to yourself, “Hey, this new Coldplay song is really good,” you’d be dead wrong. When Mumford released their singles “Believe” and “The Wolf,” the general consensus was rather mixed.

Even from these two tracks, it was obvious the band would be bringing us a new album far different from their previous two works (2009’s “Sign No More” and 2012’s “Babel”).

“Wilder Minds” is the band proving that that they have a rockier side and not only the folk rhythm that they are so well known for.

The influence of Aaron Dessner (“The National”) is obvious and clear in its intentions, both in its New York-centric track “Tompkins Square Park” and in its whimsical flow in most songs.

Folk fans shouldn’t be too alarmed. Even among the new sounds that this album offers, the heart and soul of Mumford and Sons’ best hits are still alive and well.

In addition to “Believe” and “The Wolf” already making an impression on fans, it’s full of crowd pleasers like “Ditmas,” “Broad Shouldered Beasts” and “Only Love” that prove the band has not lost its folk sound that made people fall in love with them in the first place.

It’s not just the sound and use of the instruments that have changed but the vocals as well. Band leader Marcus Mumford moves to a more subtle direction with his voice, bringing a smoother approach that feels more restrained and weary.

At first listen, it seems dark, but there is something soothing about the delivery of these new songs.

The primary element that makes “Wilder Minds” different from “Babel” is that this time around the band is not focused on stories. The sound on the album is a bit sleeker, but also chillier.

As a listener, I can say that their previous work is fun while also making you reflect, but this new set has a fresh, new feel.

In the end, “Wilder Minds” doesn’t leave the same impression that “Babel” did, or even “Sign No More,” but it can be loved on its own terms as a work preventing the band from falling into a trap that most bands find themselves in.

Creating another album is like directing a sequel for a film: you want to give fans they same thing they loved the first time around but make it different and interesting, another album that is worth everyone’s time. This is exactly what Mumford and Sons has created here.

No band wants to be pigeonholed, but desires to experiment. “Wilder Minds” may only be lost in its potential, but it’s an experiment worth listening to.