Mumford and Sons deliver Babel!
Call it folk. Call it cringeworthy. Go ahead, you may even call it unauthentic. But there’s one undeniable fact about Mumford And Sons‘ new album ‘Babel‘ – it has definitely passed the “shaky second album” test with its classically rhythmic banjos, raspy vocals and heartfelt lyrics. Think of it what you will, but for me, listening to the follow up to their debut ‘Sigh No More‘, I suddenly remember why I fell in love with this band in the first place.
Having been aired all over the radio in recent days, ‘I Will Wait‘ must have reached your ears by now! As an appropriate first single, it offers the taste of fresh energy that the band have acquired during the couple of years since their last release. As soon as I hear the first few bars of the song, I inevitably have this mental image of clumps of hay, a pitching fork and a checkered, holey shirt. Yes, Mumford & co have now been established as the band who invaded the charts with banjos and trumpets. Tracks that feature lyrics of love and pain; vulnerable whispers; powerful and commanding cries for attention; ‘Babel’ has it all. Check out “I Will Wait” from their recent appearance at the iTunes festival below!
Haters can only criticise the band’s second effort in two areas. One: die-hard folk fans say that calling Mumford And Sons a “folk band” is like saying that Michael Bublé is a rock star (for the record, I am quite a Bublé fan. The man is magic!). But I disagree; Mumford have some clear-cut folk influences, be it in instrumentation or the honest lyrics. Perhaps it would be safe to call them indie-folk. But I won’t dwell.
Two: repetitiveness. Now, this is a point I may have to agree with. Whilst ‘Babel‘ is a pleasurable listen, it doesn’t really explore many new musical ideas. It’s almost as if something more could be expected as the result of a three-year wait. Don’t get me wrong – the album delivers the classic sounds, the classic lyrics, that beautiful Marcus Mumford voice, harmonised by all three other members – but it’s nothing particularly new. Nonetheless, it is sure to end up in my album collection. Will it be in yours?
Anomnom rating: 8/11
Release Date: 24th September 2012
- 1. Babel
- 2. Whispers In The Dark
- 3. I Will Wait
- 4. Holland Road
- 5. Ghosts That We Knew
- 6. Lover Of The Light
- 7. Lovers’ Eyes
- 8. Reminder
- 9. Hopeless Wanderer
- 10. Broken Crown
- 11. Below My Feet
- 12. Not With Haste
- 13. For Those Below (Deluxe Edition)
- 14. The Boxer ft. Jerry Douglas & Paul Simon (Deluxe Edition)
- 15. Where Are You Now? (Deluxe Edition)