Julia Steele ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
It’s always been my motto that you never judge an artist on their singles alone. In my experience, there is much more quality and depth in the entirety of a band’s album than in their one radio-ready song, serving as a sample of all that artist has to offer. This is why there is hope in the new Mumford & Sons single “Believe” from their upcoming album Wilder Mind.
After the band went on hiatus a few years ago, there’s been no news from them for a while now. Until last week when they revealed they had been recording an album for the majority 2014, and would be releasing it in May of this year.
Their new single played for the first time of BBC 1’s radio station, accompanied by an interview with frontman Marcus Mumford on Monday, March 9th. In the interview, he talked about the band’s new synthed-up electric sound, and this shift is quite apparent in “Believe.” Mumford had also spoke of this in a previous Rolling Stone article that got critics and fans alike nervous about the new direction the band was going in.
The first two minutes of the “Believe” are focused solely on Mumford’s signature vocals and the sound of synths. The song starts out softer and builds, much like a lot of their other songs. It isn’t until that two minute mark that the electric guitar, drums and other accompaniment chimes in. At first listen, the build takes what seems like forever. But when the guitars kick in, the Mumford sound is still there. The hard-strumming, passionate sound of their music is still there somewhere, entangled with the shredding of an electric guitar. The song is definitely interesting and far from boring, but it leaves something to be desired.
As Mumford spoke of in the Rolling Stone interview, he is not writing all of the lyrics this time around. The words of “Believe” are much less complex. Where Mumford’s past lyrics read almost like prayers, using imagery and hyperbolic language to create truly intricate and meaningful songs. “Believe” is much more literal, and in contrast seems uninspired with lyrics like “Say something, say something like you love me. That you wanna move away from the noise of this place.”
Lyrics like these make me miss that of their last popular single before their hiatus, “There’ll be no value in the strength of walls that I have grown. There’ll be no comfort in the shade of the shadows thrown. But I’d be yours if you’d be mine.” In “Lover of the Light” there is a similar build to that of “Believe” and I honestly think that “Lover of the Light” is more musically impressive and compelling.
So sure, maybe the song seems watered-down, with a sound reminiscent of Coldplay and lyrics that aren’t anything worth crying over. But, it does seem like “Believe” is an introduction. Almost as if it is easing us fans into Mumford & Sons’ new sound, this new single is short and sweet and leaves us wanting more. Still, when all is said and done, I’m not impressed. But I still believe. Mumford & Sons remains a favorite, and we all hope this single is just a taste of much deeper and more powerful that we will find on Wilder Mind.
Listen To Believe Here: