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I remember hearing Mumford and Sons for the first time a few years back and thinking they''d producing something incredible. This album is it. Their unique blend of folk rock with that of pop has seen considerable success and it''s apparent to see why, with the title track itself just one of many that you can listen to repeatedly and never get bored. Many people have heard "I Will Wait", the song being a global phenomenon and if you enjoyed it, then you''ve only just scratched the surface. The album connects with you emotional provokes thoughts which allow you to engage even deeper with the music. A combination of upbeat, more classic folk rock combined with a more mellow and meaningful down tempo style collaborated onto one short album is just asking for success and my word has it found it. The album debuted at #1 on the UK Album Chart and the Billboard 200 and became the fastest selling album of 2012 in the UK, selling over 159,000 copies in its first week. If you''re a fan of Mumford and Sons, there is little to no doubt that you''ll enjoy singles such as Lover of the Light and Broken Crown, they are just phenomenal, with their meaningful lyrics, perfect vocals combined with incredibly instrument usage. The 12 tracks, lasting 52 minutes in total, all provide a slight variation on the original style of Mumford and Sons, each bringing about its own unique aspects and qualities. The music is catchy and you will find yourself telling friends and family all about how you will wait for them, or simply just singing at the top of your lungs, to your hearts content. If you have never listened to Mumford and Sons before, you are missing out, because they have been up and coming and having burst on to the music scene, continue to show just why they are so adored by so many.
Mumford and sons music will always hold a special place in my heart. My boyfriend introduced my brother-in-law to the first album Sigh No More and he became addicted. We all enjoyed the album and the different type of music they have produced at the time but not like he did. And when he died last year everyone mentioned his love for Mumford and sons music and how he converted many friends, comrades and family to their music. So when they released their new album in September of last year it was a must.
If you haven't heard of Mumford and Sons before (which I find hard to believe) they are an indie/folk band. If you are into really up beat dance music move on now. That isn't too say some of their tracks aren't upbeat and you will find your foot just can't help but tap! After that brilliant first album Sigh No More I was a little dubious that they could provide an album as good if not better and personally I feel maybe they haven't but compared to other music in the charts at the time of the release and after it is up there with the best. Someone once said to me Mumford and sons music all sounds the same and in reply I said that's because you can't appreciate good written music with meaning lyrics because that is what they offer.
The album consists of twelve tracks lasting a total of 52 minutes. Of the twelve tracks three of the tracks have been released to date. The first being track number 3 I will wait in August 2012, the second being track number 6 Lover of the light in November 2012 and the third being track number 2 Whispers in the dark March 2013. The album itself debuted at number one and became the fastest selling album of 2012.
The album begins with the track that the album is named after Babel. I have to admit there isn't really a track that I don't like on the album. This one starts off quite upbeat but don't be fooled as its lyrics are quite deep. It is a certain one to get you feet taping. Moving onto the released Whisper in the dark they slow the pace down that is the thing about Mumford and sons you find yourself on an emotional rollercoaster through their album. The words of their songs are deep their instrumental music is a joy to listen too. I will wait the third track on the album is like a rollercoaster itself the intro starting off upbeat but the singing comes in and the tone is bought down for it gather pace again. You will find yourself bleating out those words 'I will wait, I will wait for you' at the top of your voice. I find myself doing it every time I have it on in the car.
My two favourites (if I have to choose) tracks are number 4 Holland Road and track number 6 Lover of the Light. Holland Road is maybe one that not everyone will like. It begins slowly and quite mournful talking about being beaten down by your callous mind but as the pace of the music picks up so does the mood of the song as 'I rose and I rose , and I paid less time, to your callous mind.' The music in this particular song is excellent and is probably one of the main reasons I like it as it shows of their talents and again is one I can join in with! The other track Lover of the Light has been released so will probably be more known to many of you but still a joy. As with most albums the first half of the tracks get listened to the most and that is no different with me but I try to make that extra effort to listen to the last tracks of the album and this is an album I would highly recommend you do so with the likes of Hopeless wonderer and Below my feet.
Mumford and Sons have been criticised for being repetitive with their music especially with the pace of the music beginning loud then quieten and becoming loud again. But I personally I like the fact I know what I am getting. Compared to their first album it maybe does lack that bit originality they first had but it still gets me singing and tapping my foot. To me this album is best played in the car nice and loud!
A few years back I first heard the song 'Little Lion Man' by the band Mumford and Sons. Ever since then I have been addicted to this band. Their first album, Sign No More is one of all my all time favourite albums and I must have listened to it hundreds of time. Mumford & Sons are best described as a modern day folk band. They make upbeat catchy music that is sure to get your feet tapping. Back in 2012 they released their much anticipated second album, Babel. I was very excited to hear this and my only slight concern was that it simply could not be as good as their first offering. So, was it?
Well put simply, no, but I think it still comes close. The first single released from this album was 'I will wait' and once again the toe tapping beats get you addicted in no time. This song convinced me that Babel could once again be something special. The opening song and title track is Babel and this is a wonderful start to the album, the classic Mumford sound is in evidence and there are some excellent lyrics as well. Then the second song, Whispers In The Dark builds to magical climax. Then we have the song that I was already aware of, I Will Wait.
The rest of the album is simply pure class. There are some slower tracks as there were on the first album and there are some faster ones that would be ideal for a bit of country dancing. Lyrically the songs are very good and the production is near perfect. The only song I am not a huge fan of is 'Broken Crown'. This song is pretty average and there is some strong language in there to which also spoils it somewhat.
On the other hands some of the highlights include Lover Of The Light and Hopeless Wanderer. The latter is simply beautiful, it builds up all the way through then reaches a powerful crescendo of sound. This is one of the albums where I am quite happy to listen to the whole thing without skipping ahead on any tracks, this is something quite unusual these days as I find most albums are just full of filler.
So overall, I would say Babel rates very highly indeed. I think that it was almost impossible for the band to recreate the magic of Sign No More, but with Babel they have not come far off at all. This is an album that I put on several times during the week and I imagine it's one that I will be listening to for many years to come. Mumford & Sons really are a wonderful band and Babel is a cracking little album with some magical songs on there. If you are a fan of the band then I am sure you will really enjoy this album.
Sometimes I am far too bloody soft. I'll happily tolerate the X Factor being on my TV when friends are round and want to watch it, but that's probably because we can all have fun shouting at it. I also allowed a stray, flea-ridden cat to take up permanent residence in our house. But I really should put my foot down when it comes to what goes on the stereo, otherwise I end up having to endure dreadful sonic bilge like this latest effort from Marcus Mumford's band of inauthentic dirge-pedlars.
OK so maybe we got off on the wrong foot. I savaged their first record for being musically formulaic and riddled with terrible lyrics that were ostensibly poetic but after the most cursory of examinations were soon revealed to be about absolutely nothing at all. Perhaps that's their appeal - that the lyrics are such a load of vague mush tagged with a few bits of emotive vocabulary that anyone hearing them could apply their own meaning to them. I couldn't be bothered. And guess what? I still can't be bothered, as this album is plagued with the same brand of total nothingness that made their first so bad. Here's an example, from the title track 'Babel':
"I write home laughing, look at me now, the walls of my town they come crumbling down
and my ears hear the call of my unborn sons and I know their choices colour all I've done
but I'll explain it all to the watchman's son I never lived a year better spent in love"
What the hell is that supposed to mean? This whole album is littered with meaningless cod lyricism that reads like it's come straight from the rejected pile of a sixth form poetry competition. And could somebody please get Marcus Mumford an ECG scan? He mentions troubled 'hearts' in such a yearning, hangdog way on no less than six of these songs I think he might need to see a cardiologist.
Normally, I never really focus on the lyrical content of albums, mainly because if I want great literary works I generally turn to Kafka or Milton or Homer rather than to my record collection. However, I rifled through a few different artists' works for comparison to get a feel for what sort of thing they write about. Lou Reed writes about substance use and abuse, and weird sexual practices. Trent Reznor is obsessed with self-loathing and mental illness. Roger Waters targets the politically and morally corrupt and tackles issues of staying sane in the modern world. And while Syd Barrett may have written silly songs about gnomes and cakes and scarecrows and other throwaway nonsense, it was at least about *something*and daft enough to be memorable. I found every single one of Mumford and Sons' songs to be vague and instantly forgettable. They appear to have something to do with love and loss but they are so non-specific and dreary it was impossible to connect with them on any level.
It is, however, slightly less musically boring than their first. The formula looms in the background, but they seem to have learned the importance of deviation. Yes, the 'rousing' group vocals usually precede the thumping banjo section, but there are genuine moments that hold my attention. The intro to 'Lovers' Eyes' is a fairly simple piece of fretwork, not too special but far enough away from their usual fare that it could be mistaken for a bit of Bert Jansch. Shame that the lyrics are so leaden and contrived (again) that it completely turns me off from whatever it is Marcus Mumford is rasping ever-so-earnestly about again. Having a limited vocal range is one thing, and it never stopped Lou Reed or Kurt Cobain from doing what they needed to do, but does he have to deliver everything in such a hang-dog, pathetic manner? Either that or it's the supposedly rousing shouty banjo ho-down delivery. 'Hopeless Wanderer' sounds like it's going to be a bit different, featuring a piano intro instead of the typical gutiar, but really they've just replaced a load of generic chord strumming to a load of generic chord hammering and....
Sorry. I can't do it. I've had to bail before the album completely killed off my interest in folk music and stick Katzenjammer on instead, just to remind myself that the genre can be diverse and fun and interesting and exciting, and not be the aural equivalent of a pile of wet cardboard. I gave them a second chance, but no more; Mumford and Sons, you are banished from my stereo forever.
A beige tank-top of an album. Avoid.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
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
9 Hopeless Wanderer
10 Broken Crown
11 Below My Feet
12 Not With Haste
13 For Those Below (Bonus Track)
14 The Boxer - Jerry Douglas, Mumford & Sons, Paul Simon (Bonus Track)
15 Where Are You Now (Bonus Track)