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 »
PaulT3I 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 »