Arguably, there are only two highly-anticipated British musical masterpieces to look for this fall. The first of which, the birth of Adele’s baby, is yet to arrive. The second has been granted to the world on Tuesday in the form of Mumford and Sons’ newest album “Babel.”
Two years ago, the British folk-rock band escorted itself onto the music scene and quickly rose to fame with its debut album “Sigh No More.”
In that same year, the group received two Grammy nominations, one for Best New Artist and one for Best Rock Song with its hit, “Little Lion Man.”
Older, wiser and still adorably British, the group released its second studio album “Babel” Sept. 25 in America, to much fan anticipation.
“Babel” is certainly the same four-person band that revived the folk scene years ago, but this time around the band sounds certainly more sure of itself.
With the plucking of a banjo still ever present, “Babel” maintains the group’s sound but with a more conventional feel. The album’s first single "I Will Wait" is a testament to Mumford and Sons’ skill set. Fostering dramatic drops, quick but loud shifts and catchy repetition, “I Will Wait” shows Mumford and Sons’ true ability.
On the album, lead vocalist Marcus Mumford’s lyrics tell a story mostly filled with aching and desire, yet it’s difficult to sense the sadness while the happiest of the instruments play in the background. The album is an almost perfect harmony of emotions and well, harmonies.
The 12-track album from Glassnote Records kicks off with “Babel,” the album’s namesake. “Babel” boasts a robust energy and lyrics that still seem to serenade with “I know my weakness, know my voice/ but I believe in grace and choice.”
The album balances the upbeat sounds that have been known to entice people to Mumford and Sons with the beauty and sadness of love songs. There is certain strength in the pain.
With songs like “Ghosts That We Knew,” which begins with “you saw my pain, washed out in the rain/ Broken glass, saw the blood run from my veins” and is about suicide, it still maintains beauty and hope that perpetuates the brilliance that is Mumford and Sons.
“Babel,” though similar in instrumental sound to the group’s first album, is unquestionably worth listening to.