Offering the irresistible combination of an unrestrained ardour and zealous poetry, Babel examines the many aspects of relationships using some deep and poignant lyrics. The end result is a collection of songs that feel not only honest, but extremely heartfelt. Mumford and Sons are at it again.
The Sigh No More follow-up, opens with a frenetic guitar burst, quickly surrounded by other instruments on the title track, with Mumford declaring “I believe in grace and choice”. Those two words grace and choice pop up time and again throughout, gifting the listener a familiar framework for the albums themes of love, death, sin and redemption. ‘Holland Road’ brings the energy down a notch, notably sombre after the uplifting transcendence of ‘I Will Wait’. One pensive tune follows another as a simple acoustic intro leads the album into the mysterious sound of ‘Ghosts That We Knew’, a track permeated with emotional angst as Mumford howls “just promise me that we’ll be alright”.‘Broken Crown’ with its steadily finger picked guitar, pounding beat and ominous piano is also a highlight.
One of the most notable aspects of the album lies in the foursome’s extraordinary vitality. Emanating the sort of energy most bands reserve for live performances, Mumford and Sons, with the help of producer Markus Dravs, manage to play loudly and boisterously, without ever making the descent into cacophony. Above all else it reflects the growth that only years of near constant touring can bring. An album full to the brim of sing-along songs and emboldened textures, Babel is the banjo-filled record of a band still skyrocketing to success.