After a three-year hiatus since there last album, Mumford and Sons comeback with new album, Babel. I’m here to tell you if you liked their last album, Sigh No More you are going to love their new album. Babel has no sound changes and is closely related to their first album but while listening you can tell there is more growth and depth with more development during the production of their album. Each track tells it’s own story and gives you a sense that Mumford and Sons are not going to change in any shape or form and this is a good recipe for success. Marcus Mumford, Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett & Winston Marshall deliver on Babel and it shows why they had the best opening sales of 2012, so far.
1. “Babel” – When the title track comes on through your speakers, I’m going to have to give you fair warning. The track sound clear and fresh as day. The energy given on Babel sounds like it is right there being perform before your eyes. Marcus Mumford raspy voice shines through in a chanting way singing, “I cry, Babel, Babel look at me now. Through the walls of my town, they come crumbling down” with some kick ass banjo play and a soft-spoken chorus. Babel shines as a great album opener.
2. “Whispers in the Dark” – A sense of hope and grace can be felt here. The opening lyrics, “You hold your truth so purely. Well swerve not through the minds of men. This lie it is dead. This cup of yours tastes holy but a brush with the devil can clear your mind, and strengthen your spine” seems to start a sound about hope then you come upon “the dark ” with lyrics, “And I’m worried that I blew my only chance” through out the song. It seems the opportunity and hope for love was here but now it is gone because of that blown one chance. Lyrical, well written.
3. “I Will Wait” – Who wants to go to a hoedown with me? If you want to move around and drink some moonshine all night long, this is your song. The lead single of this album doesn’t disappoint. The hardy tones of the verses with the harmony changes in the chorus makes it a clear-cut choice as to why it was the first single off the album. Exciting, fast paced and still heartfelt. Good job guys, good job.
4. “Holland Road” – Automatically when hearing the opening strummed guitar, you will get a picture of dirt road and a picture of yourself walking on a journey. Okay, maybe I’m over exaggerating just a little bit but nonetheless, this song does give you the sense of overcoming the odds. No matter what happens, you can push and continue to go on in whatever you want to do. “But I’ll still believe, though there’s cracks you’ll see, when I’m on my knees I’ll still believe. And when I’ve hit the ground, neither lost nor found, if you believe in me, I’ll still believe”. Everybody likes a good hopeful anthem and Holland Road gives you that hope. Just like Kevin Garnett said, “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!”
5. “Ghosts That We Knew” – If possibly there could be a stripped down moment on the album for Mumford and Sons, Ghosts That We Knew would be it. Marcus doesn’t use his voice in the usual harsh tone that we have grown accustom too. He uses a gentle tone fitting with the slow and tender banjo until the tempo of the song picks
up towards the end. He picks up his tone but still keep it mellow and fitting to the soft tones being used throughout. This is definitely the highlight of the album and has to be my favorite.
6. “Lover of the Light” – Just like the title track Babel, Lover of the Light shows itself off as sounding right then and there in the moment. I can only imagine how this sound goes over when played live. I bet it goes over epically amazing. The intensity shouting of, “The Lover of the Light” goes over well with the build up from the hook.
7. “Lovers’ Eyes” – Definitely one of the sleepers on this album. The song starts off slow in the beginning and eventually builds up with a thumping drum and trumpets. The song show how love can be blinding at times when love can be the greatest feeling you can ever feel. You have Lovers’ Eyes when you over look all of the bad things in someone to have that one good thing. Just like the song itself, the beginning of it seem a little lackluster but after the buildup of the song, you will find yourself in love with it and have Lovers’ Eyes yourself. A good listen with awesome lyrics to boot.
8. “Reminder” – We never like to see relationships fade away and Reminder is a good reminder of that. In 2 minutes no less, you feel sorrow of the sung relationship coming to an end. “A constant reminder of where I can find her. A light that might give up the way is all that I’m asking for. Without her, I’m lost but my love, don’t fade away ”, is sung as the chorus shows heartbreak within the lyrics. If the melody wasn’t enough to make you sad, the lyrics will.
9. “Hopeless Wanderer” – Time for some rock-n-roll, Mumford style. The beginning of the song starts of with a piano lead then transform into an electric guitar lead, acoustic guitar & banjo production that showcases some rock flare and harmonies of each member of the band singing together at times. Sounding gritty on this track is plus as well, since the grit of the multiple guitar riffs before the chorus makes the record.
10. “Broken Crown” – Someone is unleashing their inner bad ass. Let’s just say anger plays a big part in this record. Hearing Marcus Mumford’s anger in some of his lyrics, “So crawl on my belly till the sun goes down. I’ll never wear your broken crown. I took the road and I fucked it all away. Now in this twilight, how dare you speak of grace” and plus the dark instrumental with all the minor chords going on only makes it darker and you feel the song for all of its anger. A different change of pace, from the other songs on the album. A good standout.
11. “Below My Feet” – Sad song here. Lyrics like, “You were cold as the blood through your bones and the light, which led us from our chosen homes. Well I was lost” and “And I was still but I was under your spell. When I was told by Jesus, ‘all was well’ so all must be well. Just give me time. Well, you know your desires and mine. So wrap my flesh in ivy and in twine” suggest either a death has occurred or Marcus has taken on the role of someone getting ready to face there finally days but are in denial
about it. Some fans have also looked at this song as a prayer as well to keep the beauty and mystic about the song.
12. “Not With Haste” – We get to the closing. The hook in Not With Haste, “This ain’t no sham. I am what I am” seems to be a send off of the band always going to do what they do best and not change it for anyone. The tempo of the song seems to fit with what Mumford & Sons do best, folk music. They are going to continue on doing their passion but without haste. It is a great send for fans that love what they do best.
Overall, Babel is a great album. I would recommend it to anyone that loves folk music. With it’s deep lyrics throughout, mix texture of electric guitars and banjo’s, Mumford & Sons creates a good successful album that is sure to do well. I give this album 4 ½ out of 5 stars. Great job and look forward to the next piece of art that comes next from them.