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Mumford & Sons Album Review – Babel

The time has come: at long last, Mumford and Sons have finally brought out a new album, just as fabulous as the last. It’s been 3 years since the release of the first album Sigh No More, which went four times platinum in the UK, and twice platinum in the US. Having listened to the new Babel countless times on repeat since it entered into my iTunes after keen pre-booking, I can only say I expect similar results for the fifteen new tunes produced by this passionate British folk band.

They retain their signature folky, acoustic feel as presented in Sigh No More, but quote Mumford himself, “I think there’s more subject-matter on this album, and I think we’ve grown up a little bit… I feel like it’s more exposed, more naked”. Tracks Babel, I Will Wait and Hopeless Wanderer replicate the first album the most, with their similar upbeat rhythms and confident, strong harmonies. Hopeless Wanderer, in particular, echoes many tracks in Sigh No More with its fiery instrumental crescendo, bursting with adrenaline and energy, whilst supporting epic, romantic lyrics; “When I lose my head, I lose my spine”.

After close listening, I feel that the best examples of the “more exposed, more naked” nature of Babel are Whispers In The Dark, Ghosts That We Knew, Lover of the Light and Reminder. These all have a more tender, soft and heartfelt feel to them, with more delicate instrumentals. The intense, stormy nature of Broken Crown presents a fierce contrast, in which Mumford brings his throaty vocals to a whole new level and explores dark, sinister places, with lyrics associated with sins and temptation.

The lyrics throughout Babel are exquisite and definitely represent a more tender, melancholy and open nature from the band. In Ghosts That We Knew; “Give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light” and in Not With Haste; “Sadness will be far away”, these four talented musicians balance the passionate, almost mournful, tones with optimistic, feel-good lyrics. Two favourites of mine have to be Below My Feet and For Those Below (Bonus Track); the first because of its simple yet beautiful nature and the second because I think it shows a new side to the band; exploring new places alongside a different style of singing.

So, I know what you’re all thinking. New album means a new tour right? It pains me to say I wasn’t one of the lucky ones to get organised enough to pre-order the tour tickets, and basically everywhere but Manchester and Newcastle have sold out… I think the train fare from Exeter to all the way up there might be a little excessive, so I’m holding out for another batch to be released or last resort: eBay! After careful research, I can give you all the heads up that more tickets for Mumford’s appearance in the Capital FM arena in Nottingham will be released on 3rd October from the Capital FM website… My best friend goes to uni up there and I think that’s all the persuasion I need to splash out on a train ticket to see these four rugged Englishmen in the flesh!

Georgia is in her third year at Exeter studying English and French Law. Last year she headed the Culture team as Local Culture editor, informing all of our lovely readers about the best events and places to explore in this beautiful city. She may have taken off her cultural clogs, but she is still heavily involved in Her Campus Exeter, leading the team as joint President with Florence Christie this year.When she isn’t slaving away at French law, or updating her Tumblr of pretty pictures stolen from other more committed bloggers, she can be spotted in the Forum sipping a hazlenut laté, whilst feeling guilty for said indulgence and Instagramming pictures of Costa cups. When day turns to night, Monday Arena is generally a favourite haunt or when she is feeling particularly edgy you may find her by the quayside at Cellar Door embracing her inner Cara Delvigne- thougbts of Costa on her mind! Although she never says no to a night in with her girls, watching chick flicks- preferably involving Ed Westwick.At the end of this year,  Georgia will continue to pursue her career as a lawyer, saying goodbye to rainy Britain and Bonjour to très chic France, where she will be completing the final year of her degree. Continuing to follow her mantra of work hard play hard, I wouldn’t be surprised if in in no time this girl could give Legally Blonde Elle Brooks a run for her money.
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