Mumford & Sons - Babel - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Mumford & Sons - Babel

by Greg Spencer Rating:7 Release Date:2012-09-24

It's fair to say Mumford & Sons took the UK by storm with their debut album Sigh No More and even received a couple of Grammy nominations too. They seemed to have brought about a new trend in British music, a possible revival of the folk scene which was seemingly on death's door. Along with Laura Marling, they managed to propel the genre back to where it once was, the top. Babel is that oh-so-dreaded second album which proves a struggle for many.

What you get with Babel is ostensibly more of the same from the band. Whether singles from the album such as 'I Will Wait' will become anthems like 'The Cave', only time will tell, but the album feels like progress, even if it doesn't turn out to be as successful commercially as its predecessor. With Sight No More, it felt like Mumford & Sons were on a path to real stardom, but if you delved deeper into that album, it was full of moments instead of something completely cohesive and profound. Heck, the moments were fantastic but my feeling is that Babel is more of a collective piece.

There's something instantly likeable about Mumford & Sons. It doesn't matter what genres you like, their music is just enigmatic and beautiful. There's never a feeling that the band are trying to be something they simply aren't, they're just doing what they want to do and couldn't give a toss about being mainstream or selling a plethora of records, and that's pretty refreshing. When I say that Babel is more of the same from the band, it really isn't a bad thing. The songs feel so natural and unassuming you just get caught up in the ambience of the record.

Tracks like 'Broken Crown' and 'Ghosts That We Knew' aren't even that catchy compared with the likes of 'I Will Wait', but it's difficult not to lap them up because of how much texture and feeling there is in the music. However, it isn't all rosy with this record, there are moments on the album where you want Marcus Mumford to just open up that little bit more instead of doing an instrumental guitar/banjo combination. You want more anger and less restraint from someone whose vocals feel calm on most of the songs. The record makes you want to shake Mumford and tell him to just let go and let loose but it never quite happens.

What you're left with is a record which has a real collective spirit and something which is filled with vibrant colours and instrumentations, but that elusive raw emotion and anger is what you long for at the end.

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