Mumford & Sons don't believe in taking baby steps. They shot to international fame with debut folk album Sigh No More, took the Grammy for Album of the Year with sophomore Babel, and now in Wilder Mind, they've set aside their banjos and picked up their electric guitars. Wow, do they rock.
Cold Arms will please their bluegrass fans while Tompkins Square Park and The Wolf will draw in the rock lovers.
"How well you used to know how to shine/In the place that's safe from harm/I had been blessed with a wilder mind," frontman Marcus Mumford sings in the title track.
Going rock was also a necessary musical decision - only by adding pulsing drums and soaring guitars could their music match the intensity of the lyrics, which speak about the doubts, loneliness and desperate feeling of being in a troubled relationship. It's quite a depressing album, in many ways.
But it's not short on sing-along moments, not least in the thumping anthem Ditmas.
Sometimes, like in the sudden outbursts of the ending hook in Only Love, the arrangements feel forced. But no matter. Three albums, and still going strong.