Sigh No More - Mumford & Sons

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. This is an album that knocks you over at first. But when you gather yourself, get back on your feet and listen again, you'll want to hit the play button a second time.
  2. Transformative, entrancing and wholly confident, Sigh No More is head and shoulders above the competition.
  3. Surprisingly complex and unexpectedly mature for a group of early twentysomethings, it's more often that their post-"O Brother Where Art Thou" sexy banjoing brings the surprises. [Winter 2010, p.64]
  4. Marcus Mumford's wearied vocal keeps the mood honest, rather than histrionic, and he finds a gentle beauty on 'After The Storm's' lonely walk home. [Nov 2009, p.115]
  5. 80
    Thanks to a volatile mix of the uplifting and gloomy--there's a bitter murder tale ("Dust Bowl Dance") and lingering visions of death ("Timshel")--Sigh No More transfixes.
  6. While Mumford And Sons may not excel as urbane, multi-dimensional songsmiths, they succeed by virtue of their sheer, unabashed wholeheartedness.
  7. Sigh No More inspires evangelism through sheer force of will. Between Mumford's gripping wail and the Sons' whirlwind revelries, it's a revival hard to resist.
  8. May 10, 2011
    Sigh No More sees four-piece Mumford and Sons strike out for equally distinctive territory, carving out a mostly winning--if nigglingly naive--debut that deserves an audience to match its impressive convictions.
  9. Angst-ridden indiscretions aside, Sigh No More is a fine debut from a band that's patiently picked up the tools of its trade, and chosen the right moment to give them full rein.
  10. Yet Mumford's desperation, elevated in TNT dynamics, can be thrilling.
  11. The room for improvement only makes this consistent, catchy and accessible album all the more successful.
  12. For all the torments and uncertainties Mr. Mumford sings about on this album, there's the momentum of a hoedown to carry him through.
  13. 60
    Their accomplished bluegrass, folk and country hybrid expresses the heartache familiar to fans of Will Oldham and Damien Rice. [Nov 2009, p.94]
  14. Sigh No More is an impressive debut, but one that impresses more for its promise of the future than it does its wildly inconsistent place in the present.
  15. It's a promising start, and once Marcus Mumford develops the storytelling skills of US counterparts such as the Low Anthem, there will surely be better to come.
  16. They're not at their strongest when echoing the reverb-filled harmonies of Fleet Foxes, but when they drop their instrumental restraint, they achieve an alluring balance of plaintive folk and upbeat bluegrass.
  17. Despite any popularity which may come their way, what Mumford & Sons have produced in Sigh No More is nothing more than an empty shell of a half-decent record.
  18. Every hoedown on Sigh No More-- every rush of instruments in rhythmic and melodic lockstep-- conveys the same sense of hollow, self-aggrandizing drama.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 165 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 48
  2. Negative: 6 out of 48
  1. May 23, 2011
    I'm sorry but I've gotta go along with Pitchfork on this one. It has one song that sticks, I guess for lyrical/personal/whatever reasons. ("I Gave You All." I freakin' love that song.) But the aesthetic from one song to the next is *identical.*

    I'm not saying that they don't have a certain knack for building up the tempo to a cacophony and letting Marcus Mumford's voice ride the instruments like a wave. They're not half bad at it. But they aren't exactly the best there's ever been, yet they do it on EVERY SONG. On a contemporary level, Arcade Fire and The Decemberists easily have them beat at that. What makes those bands as good as they are (or great, in Arcade Fire's case) is that they don't copy this formula on every song. They show off their wealth of other talents.

    When you can do something pretty-well-but-not-great, as M&S do with their folk anthemic climaxes, you should think about switching it up and writing a new song once in a while. And P4k, I'm sad to say, is spot on. When every song has the exact same formula, the album as a whole starts to sound disingenuous and I become totally disconnected with it. Imagine if Fleet Foxes had used the wordless chorus-double verse-A Capella 3-4-part harmonies on EVERY song on Sun Giant as they did with Mykonos. It would've been horrible, and a real slight to the genre of folk rock.

    I'm not going to say that this isn't a good band. (Yet.) If they could chill on the soft-loud formula like some sort of folk rock Nirvana, maybe use it on one or two songs in an album, and use the rest of the space for--I dunno--something else, I can hear what they're made of.
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 6, 2010
    Absolutely amazing music. I just discovered them a week ago and can't stop listening to them. The lyrics are well done, with an intelligent feel to them. Full Review »
  3. PaulT
    Feb 16, 2010
    I just do not understand this one at all... it's just so gratingly soulless, and feels like a corporate A&R driven version of the last 3 years of left alternative folk..... like The Pogues but with the grit produced out to FM blandness. Full Review »