Thursday, January 27, 2011

Album Review: Mumford and Sons, "Sigh No More"

I heard about Mumford and Sons from a friend offhandedly at a party last week then again from a lecturer talking about Muslim/Christian peacemaking through rock concerts. So I went home and got my hands on the album and I've been listening to them ever since.

When I find new music I look for a few things:
  • Moving melodies
  • Lyrics worth memorizing
  • Dynamic music
This British folk rock album gets a check plus on all fronts.

There are deep spiritual overtones and yet nothing overtly religious. I'm over organized religion but completely obsessed and in love with Jesus and striving to follow his teachings. This album feeds my soul in that way.
It's dark and gritty in places, he even drops the "f-bomb" several times in the track "Little Lion Man," singing, "It was not your fault but mine, and it was your heart on the line, I really fucked it up this time, didn't I my dear."
The music is upbeat and danceable even. This single topped folk charts in both the US and UK.

My favorite track is "Winder Winds" which is very reminiscent of an old Irish ballad. It's about a pair of lovers on a cold night and the conflict between one's head and heart. "You'll be happy and wholesome again when the city clears and sun ascends."

The band was founded in 2007 in West London by a few guys wanting to make music that matters, according to their website bio.  The band is made up of Marcus Mumford, Country Winston, Ben Lovett, and Ted Dwane. After getting some rough tracks recorded the band toured extensively through the UK and eventually hopped the pond and gained some notoriety in the states (that is I heard about them from two different sources in a week).
Sign No More was released in the States and Canada in February of 2010, so I'm a little behind the times.
Love and Grace are just a couple of the deep themes Sign No More explores. Two of my very favorite concepts."Roll Away Your Stone" incorporates exciting banjo and giving it a good-old-timey hoedown feel and grapples with ways we fill the emptiness of life.
"Seems that all my bridges have been burned, you say that's exactly how this grace thing works."
Those lyrics cut through to my heart.
Grace is my middle name and I used to hate it because I'm one of the clumsiness people you'll ever meet. It wasn't till much later when I became more aware of my need for grace and my complete reliance on Jesus for said grace did I begin to love my middle name.

"These are my desires, and I will give them up to you this time."
Following Christ's teachings means lying down everything and seeking the Kingdom, seeking the fullness of Christ in one's life on earth.  I've been guilty of losing sight of the prize and pursing my own things, which end up being so much less than Christ had in store.
This experience is humbling, every time, and yet, every time, I'm welcomed back into my savior's arms with beaming pride and unashaming love, no condemnation. Even though anyone else would use the opportunity to say, "I told you so."
Like the title track says: "Love that will not betray you - dismay or enslave you, It will set you free - Be more like the man you were made to be. There is a design, An alignment to cry, At my heart you see, The beauty of love as it was made to be."
That love is the Kingdom of God and that's why it's worth giving up everything to seek. But what I love about Mumford and Sons is it's not explicit, like the Kingdom in the parables you have to find it, it's not obvious all the time. This album does a great job of being spiritual, meaningful and true. Displaying both the struggle and joy incarnate in a search for the Kingdom.
Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Mark 4:44-46

And even when all my bridges have been burned, there's still hope, that's how grace works.

Another lyric I want to paint on my wall is from the tenth track on the album, "Awake my soul." The song is about losing faith, losing understanding and the power of love.
"How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes - I struggle to find any truth in your lies."
Truth awakes you, as you hear in the soulful chorus.
"Awake my soul, you were made to meet your maker."
I believe a true relationship with Christ will result in a relationship with your creator and an awaken soul.
It's not about rules, not saying fuck, going to church on Sunday and taking a message you don't hear truth in. It's about discovering truth and resting in true love.

Dearest blog readers, if anyone has made it this far and still wants to be a reader, thank you. I don't want this to be preachy - I want to be real and this is a real part of who I am. I'm not going to apologize and I don't mean to offend. I'm just an earnest Kingdom seeker.

1 comment:

Peter Hogan said...

People kept telling me about this band. I finally checked it out, didn't like it at first. Then, I loved it. I love the song, "Cave".


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