Friday, October 26, 2012

Music Review: Mumford and Son’s Babel

By Ashling Meehan
Cardinal Staff

The much-anticipated new album by Mumford and Sons titled “Babel” was finally released in September.  After three weeks, it still holds the number one spot on the Billboard 200.

This was not unexpected.  Ask any of their fans.

Mumford’s first album went four times platinum in the United Kingdom and twice in the States.  It was a heavy expectation to meet after the major success of their first album.  Also, after their “Sigh No More” tour in 2010, the four musicians parted ways for a couple weeks to write and recoup without meeting up again until the New Year in Nashville, Tenn.

Once again, Mumford and Son’s has mastered their artistic symmetry with poetic lyrics and an energetic sound that is uniquely their own. The first song on the album, “Babel,” is an explosion of energy backed with Marcus Mumford’s magical mastery of words and the talents of Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall and Ted Dwane. The sound initiates a switch in the listener’s body and suddenly you find yourself tapping your foot and moving your head along with the furious, orchestrated beat.

A factor of Mumford and Sons that have so many fans dedicating their undying love to the band is that fact that they are real. The four musicians from London play their own music, write their own lyrics and use no machines to enhance to specialize their music. Everything you hear is real, pure music. Even the banjo is real.

Many are saying that Mumford’s second album is better than their first, a sign of a growing and maturing band. But evil critics have also slandered the foursome since they first released “Sigh No More.” The Chicago Tribune gave the album two stars, citing critics who claim that the band has “shallow roots and folkie pretensions.”

What’s pretentious about music that seems to speak to the very depths of your soul, you ask?

Nothing, in my opinion.

Mumford and Sons’ new album does not fail. It is practically impossible for these guys to write bad music. Ashley Fetters, a writer for The Atlantic, agrees by saying that the band is “now using their heads just as much as their hearts.”  She further argues that “Babel” is “cleaner, crisper, and more carefully constructed than their last.”

Besides a few critics, the rest of the world is saying that there is something wrong with you if you don’t like and buy this new album.

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