Artist: Mumford and Sons
Considering Mumford and Sons’ Babel is following their hugely successful debut album, Sigh No More, it is not surprising that fans will be expecting another completely revolutionary piece of work from the folk rock four piece.
The album, in its entirety, is enjoyable, composed of hearty, rustic folk songs that have you passionately belting out the lyrics after only one listen. However, there is little artistic development to be commended between Sigh No More and Babel.
The album opens with an explosive instrumental from the title song, ‘Babel’, that is particularly reminiscent of the intro to the famous ‘Little Lion Man’ off Sigh No More. It’s clear that Mumford and Sons are unlikely to ever break away from their signature sound, a sure sign of their commitment to avoiding the dominant synthpop and dubstep music culture of today.
Babel finds itself concerned mainly with the struggles of young passionate love. We listen as Marcus Mumford angrily condemns his lover in ‘Holland Road’ for her “callus mind” whereas ‘Ghosts That We Knew’, a particularly sweet song, indicates that the couple are leaving their troubles behind them. The album also contains a haunting religious overtone from beginning to end, with a conflict between holiness and the devil suggested in ‘Whispers in the Dark’.
With its passionate lyrics, energetic banjo playing and emotionally identifiable themes, Babel acts as a logical, while not revolutionary, follow up to Sigh No More.
In a Nutshell: A very enjoyable, sing-a-long album.
By Laura Woulfe