“There’s nothing like a celebration of a hard-days’ blue-collar work sung by the voice of privilege and played with un-callused hands. I just can’t wait to get home and tweet these Industrial era lyrics to my digital-age, millennial friends.” When Mumford and Sons decided to abandon Genericana for, um, whatever the fuck is going on with their new album, Amazon decided that the best way to get people to listen to the new record was to give it to them for free.
That’s right: Wilder Mind is available free to Prime subscribers, along with all the old soul records and precisely none of Taylor Swift’s oeuvre. Presumably the next step will be to pull a U2 and install Marcus And Friends’ moan-pop on every mobile phone around the globe via the surreptitious backdoors originally installed by the NSA and the Chinese government.
My personal hierarchy of Genericana goes something like this:
Avett Brothers > Lumineers > Mumford And Sons
but I cannot argue against the fact that of the three groups, M&S plays with by far the most energy and conviction. Their music is also the toughest to play, not because they use a few extra chords from time to time but because each song has its own wacky rhythm. The Avetts have just a couple of rhythms; the Lumineers have one.
So, in honor of Wilder Mind and the utter shellacking it received on Pitchfork, here’s one they did earlier. Patrick wants me to put it on the record that
0. He had never willingly listened to a M&S song before last night;
1. He did not know the song;
2. He hates the song.
Which is why I couldn’t get him to stop faux-twanging his vocals. I was also suffering from a bit of a sore throat here. But the purpose of playing music is to have fun. Unless you are Marcus Mumford, in which case the purpose of playing music is to make money. But if Wilder Mind craters the way I think it will and the band’s career comes to a screeching halt, maybe the time will come when he picks up the guitar and plays for fun, the same way the rest of us do.