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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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A friend burned me an alternative Christmas album (thankfully no Slade!) and on it was the track "Winter Winds" by the Mumfords. It is a roaring joy of a track, a brassy pop song full of banjos and horns. It's wintry in a "Fairytale of New York" way and lead singer Marcus Mumford delivers better than Parcel force. The reviews on Amazon were checked out and the album purchased. It comes with a health warning, "Sigh N​o More" is addictive.

Who are the Mumfords? The NME tells us that the band was "Formed in late 2007 through a shared love of country, bluegrass and folk, the Mumford's belong to a clique that's already scaled grand artistic peaks; performers such as Laura Marling and Noah And The Whale taking the shambling, confessional style of the New York anti-folk scene and fleshing it out for broader commercial appeal". Check out the many clips on youtube and you will see a band of fresh-faced folkies, decked out in waistcoats and beards having the time of their life. To the acts above you could also add a Pogues influence, a bit of the Maccabees and in Marcus's voice is the passion heard in Sam Duckworth's "Get Cape Wear Cape Fly" debut album "Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager" (which we hope he recaptures) or even sometimes a young Peter Gabriel.

The songs are all strong but to single out a few for your attention the lovely ballad "After the storm" is achingly beautiful and what a mature work for such a young band. Similarly the single "Little Lion Man" is a banjo-driven foot tapper but with great lyrics and underpinning story. Other standouts include the initially soothing "I gave you all" which is a slow burner that builds to an excellent and powerful crescendo. Mention in dispatches should also go to Waterboys "Fisherman blues" era stomp "Roll Away Your Stone", the high tempo folk of "Thistle and Weeds" and the sheer passion of "White Blank Page". It's difficult to find a real duffer on this album and with the "The Cave" they have recorded one of the songs of 2009. For the curious, there are a number of Mumford's songs circulating not on this album. These include "Sister" available free from their website, the lovely "Liar" and covers of Calvin Harris's "I'm not alone" and the Beatles "Golden Slumbers/Carry that Weight".

There are some reviews of "Sigh no More" suggesting that it is too angst-ridden or alternatively (and in contradiction) it's a bunch of posh kids discovering that folk can be fun. It is not perfect by any means but for a debut oozes huge potential and places a hefty weight of lofty expectation on a precociously talented new band. Let us hope they can sustain it.
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VINE VOICEon 27 November 2009
I have been buying rock music for over fifty years and this is definitely amongst my top five albums of all time. Could even be the best.Very hard to believe it is a first album! The music seems to be a fusion of rock,folk,and bluegrass and has echoes of the early Strawbs album,[[ASIN:B00000B96Q From The Witchwood] I loved the light and shade of tone, the changes of rhythm and pace,and the passionate, spiritual lyrics with their encouragement to identify with what it is like to be fully human in a flawed, but God made world. I can give no greater compliment to Marcus Mumford other than to say that if John Donne and the other metaphysical poets were alive today, they would be writing lyrics like these.Marcus is clearly very mature and talented and has gathered a tight and gifted band around him whose performance is enhanced by a superb production.They deserve to have success "rain down" on them, yet when I saw them interviewed on YouTube,] they seemed to be refreshingly modest and content to let the music speak eloquently for them. And it really does! I can't wait to see a gig of theirs. Go out and buy this. You won't regret it. You might even "Sigh no More".
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VINE VOICEon 13 January 2011
I can't get enough of this fantastic album, and it grows on me more with every listen.

Sigh No More, The Cave, Roll Away Your Stone, Little Lion Man and Awake My Soul all start out gentle and beautiful, and then work themselves up into gorgeous, stomping, rousing choruses that will have you and your heart singing along. Winter Winds, an out and out ballad of pure class and sad, hopeful, gorgeous lyrics, was what drew me to Mumford in the first place, and amazingly, it's not even my favourite track of the album! Dust Bowl Dance is defiant and tempestuous, adding a rock flavour to the mostly folk/pop sound, and White Blank Page and After the Storm are two quiet, plaintive treasures with words and sentiment to make you ache.

The quality of this album just knocks me sideways. Not only is the music bloody excellent (like soul food, seriously) and the lyrics brutally honest yet sweet at the same time, when all else goes quiet and it comes down to the vocals...wow, Mumford and Sons don't disappoint. This, children, is what a band sounds like when they aren't sitting in a studio having all the electronics turned up to mask the fact they can't sing.

I'm in love. I was sold on Mumford the moment I heard the incredible 'The Cave', but I never dreamed I'd find so many more gems on this album. It took me a few listens to like some of the subtler tracks, but it was well worth the patience. More, please.
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on 14 February 2010
I first heard this band when I downloaded `Sigh No More' as free single of the week on itunes. I thought `oh these seem like something fresh and original.' So I was going to wait until the album came down in price but I just couldn't hold myself back any longer. I am so glad I didn't.
This album is worth every single little penny. I have not been so overwhelmingly shocked by an album since Damien Rice's `O.' I literally cannot stop playing it. It's one of those fantastic albums that transport you somewhere else, into a different town, one full of great music and the sunshine beaming down. This is a great thing for a dull, dreary, February afternoon.
Mumford & Sons make me very happy. They are a band that, as a music fanatic, I am constantly trying to find, so if you buy this album, I assure you, you will not be disappointed.
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on 16 October 2009
Without a doubt the best album I've bought this year and probably ever. Just cannot get these songs out of my head. It's an absolutly quality folk album thats a little bit different. I can't emphasise enough how much you should buy this album and see these guys live if you have the chance.

Matt
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on 10 June 2015
One half decent track, "The Cave", which will probably be their only decent track ever. These trust funded Wurzel wannabes demonstrate what is so wrong with most music these days - a cynically crafted, stylised and soulless collection, headlining Glastonbury after one album, appealing to the semi-hipster badly bearded youth who wouldn't know the real thing musically from a marketing executive's creation if it crashed into their tipi yurt at a festival sponsored by an international conspiracy of sugar sellers. This is about as lacking in authenticity as it's possible to be, without becoming Coldplay. Syrupy weakling 5th form poetry lyrics, a one riff banjo, amateur plonky double bass, and a cahones free delivery. Generation zzzzzz get the dull band they deserve.
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on 3 October 2009
Wasn't expecting to get this so soon so was pleasantly surprised. Stuck it in the kitchen cd player, selected Little Lion Man as a taster while I charged up the cafetiere. Flicked it to Track 1 & with coffee & toast in hand, started to listen. Within minutes I was taken to that place where there's a tear in your eye, a grin on your face & a giggle in your heart because you know that what you're hearing is in your life to stay!! As I inhaled deeply, I got a heady aroma of Levellers & Dave Matthews infused with subtle, occasional Fleet Foxes undertones. I didn't leave the kitchen until the album finished - it's fantastic.
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on 17 February 2011
So brilliant that even an old fogie like me (in my fifties) can enjoy this album. It's the strangest mix of all music, great lyrics, great emotions, great talent. My friend who is a bluegrass fan even gave this a listen. BUY IT! And yes, even you young people will like it too...
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on 12 September 2011
Every now and then an album comes along that just seems to burn into your soul. This is such an album. The lyrics are poetic and loaded with truth and the music is simply stunning. Then there's Marcus Mumfords voice. He elevates the songs to the next level, singing with such passion and emotion. My repeat button doesn't know what's hit it. Highly reccomend, nay implore you to buy this album.
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on 11 September 2009
How can I give a 5 star review to an album that has not been released yet??? Well I think I can get away with it for at least 2 reasons....Firstly, at least 7 of the tracks on this CD are available either on the 3 EPs they've released or can be heard in live format on an iTunes exclusive and they are all excellent. Thoughtful lyrics combined with great music. Secondly, everything else they have released to date has been great too - I am yet to hear an under par track. Musically they will undoubtedly be compared to the Pogues but this comparison doesn't do them full justice. Based on what I have heard so far, they ought to be the next big think, but I secretly hope they're not and we can continue to see them in the small, intimate venues that suit their music perfectly. If you've stumbled across this review because you think you might like their music, don't hesitate.....buy this CD!!!
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