Mumford & Sons are back with their new album ‘Babel’ and credit should be given where it is due. The record, in terms of sound quality, composition and lyrics are fantastic. Once again the band strip down music to the bare essentials and make it work for them. Songs like “Reminder” and “The Boxer” are perfect poetic stories that, whilst being short, have a huge amount of depth to them.
Now, you would think all these things would make the perfect CD wouldn’t you? As a matter of fact it doesn’t. Even with all these things it is still slightly disappointing. Whilst ‘Babel’ is spot on and hits the nail on the head in everyway in terms of how it sounds, you can’t help but feel that these songs were just left off their last album. There is no evidence of change within their music. Now I love the saying ‘if it aint broke don’t fix it’ more than anyone but when this is your sophomore attempt, proving that you aren’t just a one-track band is quite important.
Mumford & Sons had a large hand in helping with the revival of folk-rock and bringing it back to the mainstream radio, and they were praised to no extent for it and rightly so. However, now the dust has settled and the excitement has faded it is a shame that they couldn’t rustle up that excitement again.
The bands use of the banjo is something everyone has grown accustomed to and you could turn on a song midway through and after five seconds you would know whom you were listening to. With the same heavy use of it again, unfortunately it just makes the songs sound too familiar. Two stand out tracks however, as far of individuality and straying away from their normal sound, were ‘From Those Below’ and ‘The Boxer’. They still had their signature sound but it was something new and interesting; containing more of a classic folk sound.
So all in all if you were already a fan of the band and just want to hear the same sounds with different words this is your dream LP, if you were undecided this won’t be the album to turn you over the edge.