Mumford and Sons' honest and revealing lyrics give their hit song 'I Will Wait' a shot with a genre that is typically nervous around outsiders. The folk-rockers from England have offered their gold single to country radio four months after releasing it as the lead single from their Grammy-nominated 'Babel' album. 

Marcus Mumford and company are a triple threat in that they're young, handsome and extremely talented. Their artistry is rooted deep in folk and bluegrass, making their mainstream success that much more surprising and refreshing. 'I Will Wait' begins like Jerry Reed's 'Eastbound and Down,' but the lyrical content is less straightforward.

"Well I came home / Like a stone / And I fell heavy into your arms / These days of dust / Which we've known / Will blow away with this new sun," Mumford sings to begin the song. Much of 'Babel' was inspired by their relentless touring schedule. This package of musical poetry is simply about missing someone you care very deeply for -- a sentiment every country fan can get behind.

Those who give the song only a passive listen may miss some lyrical gems ("Raise my hands / Paint my spirit gold / And bow my head / Keep my heart slow"), but fortunately the soaring arrangement will collect the stragglers who need a second, third or eighth listen to feel the singer's hurt and vulnerability.

Several times the song nears a climax, only to pull back before the final chorus will leave you shouting: "'Cause I will wait I will wait for you / And I will wait I will wait for you / And I will wait I will wait for you / And I will wait I will wait for you."

In 2005, Little Big Town released 'Boondocks,' a song that similarly sounded like nothing on the radio but came drenched in foot-stomping musicality. It became a career-defining song for the quartet. Mumford and Sons' celebrity could work for or against them. Familiarity is never a bad thing, but like fans of any genre, country fans enjoy the discovery of something new. It's difficult to argue the quality of 'I Will Wait' -- they are ahead of their peers in terms of talent and direction. But that says nothing about hit potential. If the group wants a country hit, they'll need to work for it.

4.5 Stars

Listen to Mumford & Sons, 'I Will Wait'

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