... aspect (and confirm that if the lead singer doesn't grab him, he has a hard time with the band). And we don't ever blame a band for shooting for or achieving success.
From my viewpoint, part of the backlash regarding Mumford is hipster snobbery. Part of it is a feeling that their reputation was hyped on the basis of their first album, which was pretty mediocre in my view. Several bands were doing a similar thing better at that point, and Mumford marketed with costumes and an Americana/working man pose that struck many as inauthentic.
However, a number of critics I respect like Mumford's current album. I believe that it is an improvement over their prior effort and has some nice songs. And there is a certain amount of posing in almost all efforts labeled "americana" these days.
I like Of Monsters and Men, and I don't find them to be similar to Mumford or Edward Sharpe. I won't predict whether Of Monsters and Men can keep their sound fresh and interesting over the course of multiple albums, but for now they are a welcome edition to the scene.
In listening to a new band and then turning friends on to them. Everyone likes the story of being on the ground floor before a band became popular. Whether its seeing Nirvana in the Showbox or the Doors at the Whiskey, those are great times.
Mumford is playing arenas now, so that means they are no longer being discovered. So for those that don't like them, it means that they are overrated.
I must admit, I haven't taken to any of the new folk bands that seem to be increasing in popularity.
Like you, I can't tell the difference. I just want John Davis to reappear on the music scene.
make the same meaningless formulaic crap in every song they make. Plus, the fact they are from across the pond becoming wildly popular with that crap irritates me when there are much better American folk bands out there that write and perform better music and don't get the recognition.
Don't get me wrong, if one of their songs comes on the radio I may not necessarily turn it off because it is catchy and is better than a lot of the other crap that comes on the radio, but when you stop and listen to it the lyrics are strange and meaningless...and then there is a bunch of banjo....I know someone here can post the picture...
... out equivalent stuff, but there actually is a lot of good Americana being recorded across the pond and in Oz. And if you are going to ding for unspectacular lyrics, there is a pretty big line up with Mumford, including the 7th grade quality banalities from U2. Frankly, very few pop music artists write consistently meaningful lyrics.
I tend to think Americana and folk music generally has more meaningful lyrics to it and the music and rhythms are thought about a lot more carefully
and I'm not a big folk music lover. It doesn't mean they aren't talented, I just don't like it.
I try pretty hard not to slag anybody - I have a hard enough time keeping up with all the shit I really, really like.
On this topic, it's probably worth reading Nick Hornby's piece on "cultural snobbery". I've linked a little excerpt, to read more you can probably google it.
Although, since you asked, I don't really like Mumford or the Avetts or that other group you mentioned. I've given them all a listen but there's just no "click" or connection with me.
I generally find that either I like the lead vocalist or I'm going to have a hard time "getting into" a band.
I would probably really like the kids in Mumford and Sons and I am very happy to see some hard-working musicians have success with what they are doing. That's one reason I don't want to write negative reviews on my blog.
However, if you write about music for a living, there is probably some sense of getting bored with stuff as it gains wider acceptance. And then there is the backlash.
In a sense it is not dissimilar to the Notre Dame football media cycle.
"Mumford And Sons sold their souls for musical glory" - is that about where we are now? I suppose next we'll see bits about members of Mumford and Sons dating starlets and doing drugs, then down and out... and all along the way, the Rick Reillys of the music press will be taking perverse pleasure in Mumford's misfortune. Because people keep reading that crap.
They're a fantastic Ramones derivative that didn't really get much attention this year.
Nothing new here beyond that: Japandroids, Kendrick, Alabama Shakes, Chromatics, Kanye West (very top-heavy, though).
House That Heaven Built, Wasted Days and Swimming Pools (Drank) were by far and away my most-played songs this year.
Honorable mention: Scarecrow and Mr. Falcon, "The Banjo Sessions"
The consensus from music sites seems to be that Frank Ocean is who we're supposed to like this year. Not suprisingly, I don't get it. Even in that genre I prefer The Weeknd's "Trilogy" (even though it's actually the compilation of mixtapes released in 2011).
Because both you and BFD mentioned it, I guess I'll give it a whirl. (On their last album, I really only listened to At My Heels a bunch of times, and the rest not so much.)
But there were a number of other candidates as well.
Tribes - Baby
Of Monsters and Men - My Head is an Animal
Jukebox the Ghost - Safe Travels
Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music
Low Cut Connie - Call Me Sylvia
Bruno Mars - Unorthodox Jukebox
Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory
Fang Island - Major
Japandroids - Celebration Rock
Twin Shadow - Confess
The Menzingers - On the Impossible Past
Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city
alt-J - An Awesome Wave
Others (not in order of ranking):
Beach Fossils (EP)
Dum Dum Girls
I too love all those Beach Fossils family of albums. Particularly the Diiv album. I also really like the Wild Nothing's Nocuturn and Mac Demarco's album both of which are label mates of Beach Fossils. Check out those albums if you like Beach Fossils.
I also really liked Grimes' album, Woods, The Walkmen, Jeff the Brotherhood, Cloud Nothings, Japandroids, Ty Segall Band, Dinosaur Jr., Allah Las, and Guided by Voices last album "Bears for Lunch" (the other two were mediocre I thought.)
My top would probably be Grimes and Diiv.
I think I heard about it from you - so, thanks.
I like a lot of the same stuff - have you heard the PUJOL record, United States of Being?
Actually I think I discovered the Beach Fossils first album from you, so thank you, sir.
Also there's a little devil on my shoulder that tells me he saw that the new Beach Fossils leaked to the internets yesterday months in advance. The angel on my left shoulder is telling me to just wait two months and purchase it through legal channels. Not sure if I can wait that long!
There's nothing wrong with making the same song over again, and if people like listening to it, good on them. But that's why they'll get dinged by music critics.
Also at fault is their generally uninspired songwriting. It's a stark contrast to something like Frightened Rabbit's "Midnight Organ Fight" (another genre-mate) which would issue a lyrical beat down on anything Mumford & Sons has written.
I also think the Of Monsters and Men album is more complete than either Mumford album.
If you were one of the 6 people on this board that listened to Mumford and Sons, then they're cool.
Now that they all listen? Not cool (the perception, anyway, not my opinion).
Of Monsters and Men are just hitting their stride. In 6-12 months, they will also be uncool.
Edward Sharpe...I don't know. I honestly have no idea what the perception is, but I have a hunch that people may have perceived him as stumbling out of the "cool" gate since they had a song in a commercial for trucks or whatever.
Not sure where Florence and the Machine sit on the spectrum, but for me, personally, they will always be solid because I like drumming on things during "The Dog Days are Over."
So in sum, like many things pop culture - it's only cool until it's well known. Then it's awful and you should be ashamed of yourself.
on how much you value authenticity in your music.
onto a catchy song.
I suspect that if you go to one of their concerts you will pass out and wake up on their tour bus as a member of the band.
that seems to have a pretty elastic meaning.
And I have no doubt the word gets used as a smokescreen for hipster-y oldstufflover type behavior.
I was just debating bucket's theory that backlash directed towards Edward Sharpe is the usual popular/selling out type of backlash, when as with Lana del Rey (on an admittedly much larger scale), it seems to be backlash based on a perceived lack of authenticity, not a perceived sense of too much popularity.
I don't actually know. I was just making a guess.
I am probably overstating the amount the band faces though.
And it is getting harder for me to make meaningful distinctions between them.
When I first heard Of Monsters and Men's album, I thought it sounded a lot more like Florence and the Machine than Mumford and Sons.
It's a successful strategy in pop music (see: Foo Fighters, Green Day), but it doesn't win a lot of hearts and minds if you don't have the back catalog. I think Of Monsters and Men is pretty close to Mumford and Sons but maybe with a little more range and less reliance on the banjo.
Full disclosure, I've got a soft spot for any really talented female singer, and Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine has tremendous talent and seems to enjoy experimenting in very different compositions, if not genres. If you've only heard Dog Days Are Over from her, I wouldn't blame you for lumping into the same faux old timey music as Mumford and Sons, but she's got a lot more diversity as evidenced by newer singles.
Edit to add that Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes definitely fit in that category but they're a band that knows what they want to be and that happens to be what they are. That's their comfort zone and they're going to just keep making music there. I give Lana Del Rey credit for this too - she knows what she wants to be, it's different than most of what we hear, and she seems to be working to get better at it. She fails more than she succeeds in creating great music, but I'm just happy to see people trying new things.
for personal pleasure.
wine aficionados, beer snobs, movie critics, music experts, etc.
Its a good idea to use them as a guide to steer you into new experiences, but as the saying goes, "Opinions are like... everyone has one".
I was just curious about the thought process of people who're more expert in the area than me.
'fear fun' by Father John Misty. check it out.
what you like. Ignore rock critics.