After a three-year wait for some diehard fans, Mumford and Sons has finally come out with its second album: “Babel.”
The new album continues to represent the bluegrass sound that Mumford and Sons is known for, and, of course, banjo interludes are extremely prominent.
By far the best song on the album is “I Will Wait,” which was actually released a few weeks before “Babel” came out. After hearing the single, I eagerly awaited the album. Sadly, I was disappointed. “Babel” is good – I won’t deny it – but it isn’t great.
There are a few tracks that stand out, namely “Below My Feet,” “Babel” and a cover of “The Boxer” (which features the song’s original artist Paul Simon). However, after listening to the album a few times, the songs began to run together and I couldn’t tell one from the other. “Babel” is almost too similar to “Sigh No More,” the band’s first album.
A friend of mine suggested that I listen to all the songs in order, as opposed to just putting my iPod on shuffle, and I recommend that as well. One great part of this album is the way that the songs seem to just flow into each other. Another thing I like about “Babel” are the simple lyrics that are clear and powerful. Specifically, in “Below My Feet” the band sings: “So I was still / I was under your spell / When I was told by Jesus all was well / So all must be well.”
I really enjoy the simple harmonies that Mumford and Sons feature in almost every one of its songs. As a chorus member, I can really appreciate the time that goes into composing great harmonies.
My only complaint is the similarity of the songs to each other and to “Sigh No More.” I think that my hopes were a little too high after hearing “I Will Wait.” I wanted the band to keep its bluegrass sound but also to be a bit less safe and expand into uncharted territory. I realize it’s a bit much to ask, but I wanted each song to be good in its own right, and not just as a part of an album. Something that I liked about “Sigh No More” was that I liked every song. With “Babel,” there are certainly a few songs that I probably will not listen to often.
I also advise paying the extra few dollars for the deluxe version, if only just for “The Boxer,” which is a great cover of a great song.
Eileen Bennett is a senior at Clarence High School.