Mumford & Sons – Babel – Album Review

This is the first in a series of albums that I’ve been meaning to review recently, including among others the new offerings from Muse, Soundgarden & Stone Sour. Since Mumford & Sons ‘Babel’ was released before all of those I’ll start with this. I remember before Christmas a couple of years ago hearing ‘Winter Winds’ on Radio 1 and really liking it, after then hearing a couple of other tracks I proceeded to purchase and fall in love with ‘Sigh No More’. This their follow-up I already had a good idea what to expect with as between seeing them perform new songs in Brighton and the countless live versions of new material from their consistent touring about half of the album had already been heard before it was released.

From the second the album starts with the title track ‘Babel’ it is instantly recognisable as a Mumford & Sons record and this is definitely a theme that continues throughout the album, the musicianship is as accomplished as ever if not more so than on ‘Sigh No More’, and the album exudes an upbeat energy that it is nigh on impossible not to get swept up in. Lead single ‘I Will Wait’ effectively unleashes a rolling barrage of Banjo and how can that be a bad thing? I really believe there needs to be more Banjo in music and Mumford deliver this for me. The slower tempo and somber feeling to both ‘Ghosts That We Knew’ and ‘Lover’s Eyes’ are particular highlights for me I love their slow gradual builds and even more so the reemergence of the vocal harmonies that helped make the first album and their shows so memorable for me. ‘Hopeless Wanderer’ which sees the introduction of some electrical instruments is another flash of brilliance in my opinion, the harmonies are there once again and I find it impossible not to get sucked in by the energy of the song. ‘Below My Feet’ is along with ‘Lover’s Eyes’ probably my favourite song on the album it is another song that slowly builds to the huge crescendo ending, and I know I’ve gone on a lot in this review about the bands Vocal Harmonies but that is one of the things I genuinely love most about this band and for me ‘Below My Feet’ is the most special example of this on the album.

Overall as a fan of the first album I was always going to fall in love with ‘Babel’, but therein I guess would be the only criticism I could find in this album, it is a bit similar to ‘Sigh No More’ however for me the progression in musicianship and the sheer infectiousness of it throughout is more than enough to keep me interested. Overall if like me you are a fan of ‘Sigh No More’ you will almost certainly find something for you on ‘Babel’.

Rating: –

7/10

Tracklisting: –

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”

Recommended Tracks: –

‘Ghosts That We Knew’, ‘Hopeless Wanderer’, ‘Lovers’ Eyes’, ‘Below My Feet’

PDC

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