Well, they’re back. Three years after their smash release Sigh No More, Mumford & Sons graced the music world with their sophomore album, Babel. Basing their album off of the biblical story about the Tower of Babel (the story of how different languages were created) the album strays into religious influences with such songs as “Babel” and “Hopeless Wanderer.” The album seemed to build upon the success of their pseudo-acoustic first album that became a global success after the release of their single “Little Lion Man.” To date, their first album has sold more than 2.4 million copies in the U.S. alone.
When one listens to Babel, you are greeted into a world of softer music where love and evil and dragons still exist. Dark acoustic guitar, high banjo twangs and horns bring you back to a softer time.
Mumford & Sons’ truly unique blend of folk and driven-pop meld into a symphonic melody that accents the darkly introspective lyrics that have become their staple. While the themes of their songs—personal failure, love loss, love found—are as old as civilization, Marcus Mumford’s personal spin adds humanity and character into what are often perceived as dead themes in today’s musical world.
Lyrics, perhaps the most important part of a Mumford & Sons song, truly stand out in songs such as “Babel,” “Hopeless Wanderer”, “Ghosts That We Knew” and “Whispers in the Dark.” Lyrics such as:
“But do not ask the price I pay
I must live with my quiet rage
Tame the ghosts in my head
That run wild and wish me dead
Should you shake my ash to the wind
Lord forget all of my sins
Oh let me die where I lie
‘Neath the curse of my lovers’ eyes,”
from their song “Lovers’ Eyes” delve into the darker heart of love, making the brighter songs about love on the album shine all the brighter. Of course, this being said, I love the Mumford & Sons brand of sometimes mellow, sometimes driven acoustically-charged music. If you do not enjoy Sigh No More, then you will not find yourself drawn into their latest album. Babel is not a departure from Sigh No More, but rather an extension. It picks up where Sigh left off, plucking happily their strings and those of your heart.
If you go in expecting a very different album, then you will be sorely disappointed. But if you listen and expect deep lyrics, acoustic music that proves that acoustic guitar can kick as much as a metal solo, and a sweeping orchestra of ghostly horns, then you will be as happy as I was to finally listen to their latest album.