Category: Babel - Tunage Magazine

Mumford & Sons: Babel

Mumford & Sons is back, and this time my friends, they’ve come back with the same rustic bang that made us fall in love with them in the very beginnings of their musical work. Babel was just recently released this passed Tuesday on September 25th and expectations were met.

          The album starts with the self-titled song, “Babel”, going straight into a direct and hopeful feeling tone that is screaming, “Did you miss us?”  Yes, we did.  Here’s the thing: if you at all liked their previous album, Sigh No More, I can promise you that you’ll love this album just as much. It’s all there: the poetic “cynical idealist” lyrics, the exciting banjo licks, and driving rhythm that inspires you to keep going. My favorite lyrics from “Babel” that contain the spirit of Mumford and Sons are:

“You’ll build your walls and I’ll play my bloody part, to tear, tear them down”.

         This is just a small piece of their brilliant lyricism. Another perfect example would be the hit single, “I Will Wait” that creates a gorgeous hopeful chant to hold close to your heart.  The instrumental style has remained pretty close to their previous work, having that signature Mumford and Sons sound that is easy to recognize, even if you haven’t heard any of their new songs. This band has to be one of the greater pioneers in bringing folk back to the forefront of the music world. Much like Johnny Cash and many other folk band legends, this band is best known for their well-written lyrics. You can tell time was spent in putting real meaning into the words of the songs, making them sound more like poems in sing song form than just a regular tune. This is a golden quality found in some of the best folk bands, just like Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” there’s something more meaningful in the words than just having the simple old “Things are hard but I’m going to get back up” type of lyrics.

          Speaking of proper folk band influences, another highlight in this album is the song titled “Reminder” with the very Jonny Cash-esque low melancholy singing in the beginning with the classic walking bass and simple guitar strumming rhythm.  This ballad is a great breather from the pace of the previous songs. The lyrics are dark and romantic just like Johnny Cash’s better-known work, giving another salute to this amazing genre.

          One of the more different sounding songs is “Broken Crown” because of the more ambient sounding guitar playing. While they stay true to their signature style, this song has a soaring sound that brings the keyboards out more to the front of the song instead of being a supportive role to the guitar playing. It has an epic feel because of the instrumentation, making what would be a proper soundtrack to an equally epic show, perhaps Game of Thrones? It definitely is a song that makes you want to march on a Scottish field in a battle for a powerful king.  If that’s not exquisite imagery painted by the mixed sounds of a well-formed song, I don’t know what is.

          These songs are all just a small taste of what Mumford and Sons has to offer in this new and highly satisfying album. It’s great for the die-hard Mumford and Sons fans as well as people new to the genre and the band. I give this album a huge thumbs up and I recommend you go check it out. You will not be disappointed.

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Written by Deanna Trombley

- Tunage