Mumford & Sons second helping, Babel, due to be released on 24th September, has a lot to live up to, and there is no doubt it will be as successful as it’s predecessor. BUT, is it any good? Short answer is.. HELL YES!
The album starts off with title track ‘Babel’, and it’s obvious from the outset that you are witnessing a matured, yet formulaic Mumford and Sons. If you’re expecting a considerable change in style, you are going to be disappointed, especially in the banjo-tastic gospel anthem ‘Whispers in the Dark’ and ‘I Will Wait’. However ‘Holland Road’ is where the album serves it’s swerve ball, and ‘Ghosts that we Know’ really shows how far the band have come, resisting the urge to break into foot stomping mid song. ‘Lover of the Light’ is arguably the best song in their repertoire at present, and has been a live favourite for the past few years with it’s epic horns and Marcus banging the sheer hell out his drum kit.
Mid point in the album is ‘Lovers Eyes’, a typical Mumford-esque build from slow and heartfelt to full on foot stomping. The low key ‘Reminder’, at just over two minutes will be easily forgotten. A new dark side starts to emerge in ‘Hopeless Wanderer’ and the stunning ‘Broken Crown’ which verges on the angry. The aural feast of ‘Below my Feet’ leaves you wanting more, which is handy as ‘Not with Haste’ closes the album perfectly.
Babel has a fresh sound to it, purposely underproduced, and reminds me of the early far less polished EP’s.
It’s still Folk, it’s still undoubtedly Mumford and Sons, but it’s just better!