Reviewed by Meghan Player
It’s been one of the most anticipated albums of 2012 – the return of English folk/rock gentlemen, Mumford & Sons and their latest album, Babel. Forged on the back of debut album ‘Sigh No More‘ – the album follows it predecessors path, once again becoming the thinking mans music.
Opening [and title track], ‘Babel’ commands attention – pulling every ounce of the listeners mind into its whimsical melody. The infectious, constant rhythm of the track is wonderfully emotive, resulting in an astoundingly heartwarming opening piece.
‘Whispers In The Dark‘ enjoys a quiet calm, almost awe-inspired hush as it sweeps you up into it’s narrative. Lyrically, the track [and indeed the album] never falters – “..a brush with the Devil can clear your mind..” croons Marcus Mumford – a line that you can’t help but feel touches on a home truth.
Whilst only three songs in, it’s by the time ‘I Will Wait‘ – the latest single and subsequent video – rolls around, that you’re officially falling for the beauty of this album. The quickened pace, coupled with the reserved ‘gang vocal melody’ is poetic and dear – at the same time it is infectious and striking. This is what Mumford & Sons can do. And dear god they can do it well.
‘Holland Road‘, ‘Ghost That We Knew‘ and ‘Lover Of The Light’ ultimately follow their counterparts lead, with the latter verging on becoming enchanting with little more then well-crafted lyricism.
As the album begins its homeward journey – an air of intensity envelopes the listener as ‘Hopeless Wanderer‘ spares no expense with melody – mandolin, guitar and banjo are played with frenetic fervour as the album draws towards its end.
It’s as the strings/keys ring out over the final ballad, ‘Not With Haste‘ – you begin to wrap your thoughts around how incredible this album actually is. Emotive, whimsical, enchanting, breathtaking, honest and utterly wonderful – Mumford & Sons have had no trouble in living up to [and exceeding] the expectations of their fans and peers.
Without a doubt, this could well be album of the year.