Music: Mumford & Sons’ ‘Babel’ offers little originality, but you’ll probably still love it anyway

By William Hoffman | | @Wilbur_Hoffman
Babel | Mumford & Sons

Mumford & Sons exploded into popularity back in 2011 when they performed their title track “Little Lion Man” at the Grammys, largely popularizing the energetic folk sound that many have come to love.

Now the band is back with their new album Babel, playing up the same folk sounds that made them popular. You can expect great fast-paced guitar lines, deep meaningful lyrics backed by Marcus Mumford’s sultry voice, as well as a greater emphasis on the banjo and strings.

If you liked Sigh No More, you’ll like Babel, but Mumford won’t likely gain a new audience because when it comes down to it, Babel differs very little from their initial success.

In this case it’s not such a bad thing, though. Sigh No More was a short album that was overplayed to the point of cringing, and I think many people are eager for that same dark sound that Mumford brings to the table.

Songs like “Broken Crown” and “Ghosts That We Knew”  bring a wonderfully dark and ominous feel that fans have grown to love from the band, while still accompanied by hopeful lyrics — “But I will hold as long as you like/ Just promise me we’ll be alright.”

It’s songs like these that exemplify the great lyrical ability of Marcus Mumford which has only gotten better on this album, despite its instrumental similarity to Sigh No More.

Unfortunately, while the album’s single “I Will Wait”is a great catchy energetic tune, when you break it down it’s basically “Little Lion Man” all over again.

While I’d have liked to have seen a little more originality in this album, the fact is I enjoy the album just as much as Sigh No More, if not even more. Only time will tell if they are able to be more original next time around.

Mumford & Sons on ‘Saturday Night Live’


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