With Memorial Day in the rearview mirror, we’ve officially moved into the summer. Well, at least by sociological standards… meteorological summer started June 1 and astronomical summer doesn’t arrive ’til the solstice on June 20, but two out of three ain’t bad, right?. Summer is a great season because it’s an easygoing time of year when folks are looking to have a good time. Whether they’re doing some light summer reading, checking out a summer blockbuster movie or listening to some summer music, the seasonal entertainment options come from every direction.
Although Mumford & Sons’ [m] [w] debut album was released in the US back in February, it definitely has the sound of summer 2010 to me. With a clatter of banjos, mandolins, drums and guitars, the folk and bluegrass sound would fit in nicely cruising down the highway en route to a vacation destination. But while Mumford & Sons provide a refreshing new sound, their songs are also a bit formulaic and susceptible to growing stale. With few exceptions, they start out slowly, gradually build up the sound and the tempo before hitting a crescendo with the aforementioned clatter of instruments and earnestness. That’s not to say that Mumford & Sons don’t have some fine tunes on their debut album, because they do. This week’s pick, “Little Lion Man” is no exception. It’s a great song that fits the Mumford & Sons formula while having broad crossover appeal. Nevertheless, because their songs are stylistically so similar, I can see this being an album that I appreciate for about a year before putting it away for long periods at a time. Summer Music.