Personnel: Tom Hobden (violin); Benjamin Lanz, Dave Nelson (trombone); James Ford (keyboards, drums, percussion); Aaron Dessner, Doveman (keyboards).
Audio Mixers: Tony Lake; Robert Orton.
Recording information: Air Studios, London; Ditmas, Brooklyn; Eastcote Studios, London.
Photographers: Ted Dwane; Ross Stirling; Ty Johnson.
Arranger: Mumford & Sons.
Who could blame Mumford & Sons for running away from their signature banjo stomp? Come 2015, when Wilder Mind saw spring release, so many bands had copped their big-footed folk jamboree that Mumford & Sons could feel the straitjacket constricting, so it's not a surprise that the group decided to try on something new. Without their old-timey affectations, they wind up sounding like handsome AAA rockers with a debt to U2, a group that masters sound over song. They do swing for arena-filling hooks and connect -- the quietly escalating "Believe," the incessant surge of "The Wolf," "Ditmas," which is the only song here that would scale to bare-bones acoustic arrangements -- but usually they subsist on a simmer, letting their immaculate, tasteful rock bubble quietly. Often, the persistent, moody murmur recalls a diluted Kings of Leon, a comparison that underscores how Mumford & Sons have made the journey from retro throwback to glistening modern construction. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Rolling Stone - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "'The Wolf' is open-air garage rock with shades of Springsteen, while 'Snake Eyes' falls between Radiohead at their coziest and the AOR pastorals of the War on Drugs."
Spin - "[T]he atmospheric, picking-heavy slow builds of 'Ditmas' and lead single 'Believe' flash Interpol in bright lights."
Billboard - 4 stars out of 5 -- "WILDER MIND is undeniably a straight-up rock record, full of distorted guitars and hammered drums."