ALBUM REVIEW: Mumford & Sons – Babel

Maybe because it’s finally time for scarves and apple cider, but Mumford & Sons‘ second full-length album, Babel felt like the beginning of a beautiful fall season.

Their first release, Sigh No More was a gorgeous compilation and initially put the spotlight on folk, but Babel’s feverish swell will flood boundaries and touch the masses.

As a literary nerd, I love Marcus Mumford’s propensity to weave in references from his favorite books. He shared that literary touches appear throughout the entire album, saying that books help focus his mind.

Lovers’ Eyes is wistful and cathartic, repeating “I walk slow, I walk slow,” rocking into hypnosis, only waking with each strum. Reminder alludes to distance and problems outside of one’s control, but steadies with “oh my love don’t fade away, oh my love don’t fade away.”

With a heart-tugging chorus and jubilant chords, I Will Wait is the stand-out track of the album. When paired with folksy pick-ups, it’s hard to take life too seriously and Mumford positions love as something hopeful and patient. “Keep my heart slow,” is relationship advice that we all need to hear, reminding us that love is steady and with the right person, everlasting.

But life isn’t all about love and neither is this album. In Broken Crown, the militaristic drum cadences guide through an intimate path delving into spiritual beliefs. Holland Road offers another opening to interpret the lyrics and internalize the emotion. Mumford was a preacher’s kid growing up and themes of despair, forgiveness and restoration charge several of the songs.

Joyful and euphoric, this album is genuine to its core. B-Sides hopes to follow these British boys for many, many folk-filled years to come.

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