Review: Babel , Mumford & Sons
“I will love with urgency, but not with haste,” croons Marcus Mumford from English folk rock band, Mumford & Sons.
This line seems to accurately describe Babel, the newest release from this UK quartet. An album that is written with a passion and aggression audible from first note to last, while maintaining technical grace and elegance that amounts to a beautiful collection of songs.
Admittedly, I can be somewhat of a music snob, and I had written this band off as the Coldplay of folk music – until my girlfriend forced me to listen to their music recently. Since then Babel has been playing on a constant loop in my car, and I have been happily singing along to Mumford’s charming folk anthems.
Mumford’s first full-length release Sigh No More, blew up internationally in 2009, going platinum an impressive four-times in the UK and another two-times platinum in the US. Creating a follow-up album that can match or surpass that kind of success is no small task but I believe that Babel is set to achieve just that.
Babel is much in line with Mumford’s first album but seems to be a bit more polished in terms of production value, specifically when taking notice of the vocal tracks. Marcus Mumford’s powerful voice is again at the forefront of the album, highlighting his masterful lyrical abilities, especially in tracks such as “Where Are You Now,” and title track, “Babel.” The band’s overall songwriting ability seems to have matured even more so since their last release with the ability to flow seamlessly from catchy love songs like their newest single “I Will Wait,” to aggressive pain-filled tracks like “Broken Crown.”
As far as negatives go, this album has few. I find it a bit annoying that some more intricate guitar tracks have been set very low in the overall mix, causing the ear to have to strain to hear important embellishments. Also, I don’t much care for the track “Lover of the Light” because it reminds me of a Dave Matthews Band song. That being said, I’m really straining to find imperfections in this album.