The Existence and Destruction of Folk Music
Read senior Pete McStravick's article for The Crusader.
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But what makes this music style so popular today? Why are we seeing a sudden revival of the "folk?" There are a few reasons. For one, folk music has very simple chord progressions and movements. Looking at commercial music closely (or just listen), progressions are used over and over because artists have discovered a popular trend of chords that are well accepted by listeners. Fusing both the simplicity of folk and the opportunism of record labels, you are given bands like Mumford and Sons.
After a very successful first album, Mumford and Sons recently release their 2nd full-length album titled "Babel." Comparing the two, they sound like the same album; it's because, they are same album. They safely chose to continue the same sort of sound on their second album because of its popularity rather than exploring their sound as a band and allowing themselves to grow as musicians. Following this same path of simplistic musical movements of this style is capitalizing on what is inherently wrong about "folk" music today. Bands like Mumford and Sons are fantastic songwriters and musicians (there is no debating that); although, using the image of folk to identify as a beloved American-blues musical genre is nearly insulting. This new wave of "folk" artists is, in a way, exploiting some of the great musicians/bands from the original era.
There just has to be a better way of describing these types of bands instead of using this term because it is not fair for those past music heroes who created and molded folk rather than used it for popular gain. I personally enjoy Mumford and Sons, especially their new album "Babel." However, looking at this from a musical analyst's perspective, the two individual styles should be recognized as separate entities because the means and motives behind each do not draw enough comparisons to be considered the same.