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Mumford & Sons Babel Album Review

mumford babel review

Mumford & Sons are a four piece English Folk Rock band that have broke headlines with their creativity and pushing Folk music back into the popular music charts.

Initially formed in 2007, their debut album 'Sigh No More' was released in October of 2009 (UK and Ireland) and five months later in the US. With the album becoming the second in the UK album chart, and selling over five million copies since, it received two Grammy nominations for 'Best New Artist' and 'The Best Rock Song'. Now a couple of years on, we unsurprisingly see the Folk Rock group up for some of the top Grammy nominations of 2013.

This year Mumford & Sons are up for, yet again, the 'Best Song Written For Visual Media' (for the Disney Pixar film 'Brave'), 'Best Rock Performance' (for 'I Will Wait' performed live), 'Best rock Song' (for 'I Will Wait'), Best Long Form Music Video (for the live video from 'Big Easy Express') and finally for this latest Mumford album 'Babel' for 'Album of the Year'.

To date 'Babel' has now sold over 1.2 million copies the world over. As Mumford & Sons have sold over a million copies of 'Babel' it has gone platinum. Mumford & Sons are truly a multi-national cult Folk quartet who are real trendsetters in the Popular Music charts.

When we first listen to the album we are introduced to the track which bears the name of the album however, it does not really seem like an introduction. This is definitely a track which drops the listener right in the middle of a Mumford pool of loveliness. To the unacquainted this may come as a bit of a shock, but after you listen to the album a couple of times it is, quite possibly, the only way that the album could have possibly opened. There is just no need to lead the listener into the rest of the tracks with a tension builder, the energy is already there from the opener.

With the above being said, almost the whole way through this album is a litany of uptempo beats, progressively made throughout some tracks with a warm smoothing feel developing from the instrumentals coupled with Marcus Mumford's (Lead Vocalist) dynamic vocals from the heart.

Upon first listening to the album, or indeed looking at the track listing times, it is apparent that the majority of these tracks are not necessarily radio friendly, with being typically long in length (on average about 4:30mins a track) with no harsh compression to squash all the nice transients of a organic multitimbral acoustic environment. Then again, this album should be no other way. The tracks develop in the time they need but you will never feel waiting or hanging on. Cliff-hangers do not exist here.

During the album play you will notice one or two tracks blatantly standing out as destined for fame. 'I Will Wait' is a classic example of this - it has already reached fame. With a short 'full band' energetic opening the listener is slammed into some catchy verse vocal lines along with an impressively easy chorus of "I Will Wait, I Will Wait For You', repeated four times. In some settings this kind of tact can be monotonous and unimpressive but the expression shown through Mumford's voice shows soulful digression. It has to be said here that every time I hear this track it recounts the performance Mumford gave to an overwhelmingly large sell-out crowd with their epic gang vocals at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

With the progression of this album I am extremely impressed. As you progress through the twelve tracks in the album the instrumentals do not become too familiar. In fact it makes you want to listen to the album all over again.

All in all the production on this album is outstanding with some truly great mastering. I also love the fact that Mumford save the majority of its best tracks until last. To name a few these are 'Hopeless Wanderer', 'Below My Feet' and 'Not With Haste'.

All in all I personally love this album and it is one that I will play over and over again. With everything considered I say that this is a top notch album deserving of a 5/5 rating.

Edd Harris

Edd Harris - 13th December 2012

US RRP: $16.99 | UK RRP: £5.99

Editors Rating:

Five Star Award