The general sentiment of this album is that, compared to M&S’s previous albums, Wilder Mind is easier on the ears… but not quite as exciting. On the up side, it is easier to contemplate the lyrics of each song. On the down side however, the songs don’t come across as deep. I have always thought that the drama in the music – their off beat pitch changes, their erratic tempo arrangements, their sudden and abrupt mood sequences, their intensely acoustic mellowness – all these drama, was what made M&S a particularly interesting band. Yes, yes, there are smidges of it still all over this album, but so much less dramatic. Less rocky. More poppy.
The effect is interesting. Like I said, not quite as exciting but much easier on the ears. If new fans are what they are after, then it is my bet that this album would be their first essential introduction to M&S before digging back to their more intense albums. For those who have been following them for the last few years, I’d say that this is a notch below Babel (2012) which one really cannot help but to compare.
My favourite songs on this album is Tompkins Square Park (Track 1), Wilder Mind (Track 4), Monster (Track 6) and Broad-Shouldered Beasts (Track 8). Oh, how I really enjoy Broad-Shouldered Beasts. Beautifully penned lyrics has always been a major strength of this band, and from this point of view, this album does not disappoint.
It’s just the drama in the music. Still wow. But I know that these guys have so much more in them.