The new album from Mumford and Sons is perfect for keeping you entertained on long road trips. The atmospheric, sometimes thought provoking new release is slightly less upbeat than the previous album Sigh No More, but this mellowness just makes it an even better accompaniment for long stressful journeys on rickety buses or crowded planes.
You can't fault Mumford and Sons' commitment to their fans. Having just released their new album Babel, they are heading straight back out on tour - performing at London's Roundhouse on September 24, before travelling to Australia for a further 10 gigs across the country. This is the band's passion - connecting with fans. Therefore, Marcus Mumford (vocals, guitar, drums) claims that the band wanted this album "to be an advert for the live shows".
Ben Lovett (vocals, keyboard, drums) says that they had a choice when recording Babel; "to realise that people dig what we're doing, and make something robust, with that energy" or to shy away from that and try something new. They chose the former, making this new record, released on September 24, very much a continuation of the vibe of the first album, Sigh No More. As a result, some critics may claim that Mumford and Sons have played it too safe and that Babel provides very little new material. However, they have ultimately done what all good bands should do - listened to feedback from their fans and continued to make the same sort of music that got them where they are today.
Full of biblical references, haunting vocals, and folksy melodies, Babel at times seems a little more serious than Sigh No More, with no obvious presence of more upbeat tracks such as Roll Away Your Stone from the first album. This does not mean the new release is depressing however; the band have simply substituted the upbeat light melodies for slightly heavier ones with less banjo and more electric guitar and drums.
Broken Crown is by far the best track on the album, with Marcus Mumford's chilling vocals and an impressive guitar crescendo leaving listeners wanting more after what seems a short four minutes. A close second place goes to Babel, the title track - which is less haunting and more folksy, providing a nice break from certain more intense tracks.
All in all an impressive second album, Babel has maintained the band's best features - Mumford's chilling lead vocals, impressive guitar playing and accessible lyrics, whilst still managing to add a new twist to their music which is sure to attract even more fans.
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Average price: £10.00