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BUZZ BAND

WHY I LOVE …

MUMFORD & SONS

When this British band’s debut, Sigh No More, hit the States last February, it slipped through the cracks on this critic. Since then, the alt-folk quartet-which can go from the gentle beauty on “I Gave You All” to the rocking rowdiness of “Little Lion Man,” one of the most bitchin’ tunes ever to feature a banjo-has been steadily building buzz: Their songs have been featured on Grey’s Anatomy, they have received two Grammy nods (including Best New Artist), and their album, now gold, finally made the Billboard Top 10 this month. They are the little indie band that could-a faith-affirming case of great music being discovered.

James Blunt

Some Kind of Trouble |

POP

“Times like these, I don’t want to be a superstar,” sings James Blunt on his third album. Indeed, the “You’re Beautiful” bloke feels like a pop star from another era with his soft-rock stylings. This follow-up to 2007’s underappreciated All the Lost Souls harks back to the ’70s-singer-songwriter heyday of that other James (Taylor). On AM-ready standouts like “Dangerous,” there are even soulful shades of Hall & Oates. But with the gift for melody and rainy-day melancholy displayed on ballads like “Best Laid Plans,” Blunt comes off more like the Phil Collins of his generation.

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