I discovered Mumford & Sons’ first album, ‘Sigh No More’, quite late. I had heard ‘Little Lion Man’, and even though I liked it, it didn’t make me want to listen to the entire album. It was a sign of laziness on my behalf, because once I gave that album the listen it deserved it, I fell in love with it and with the band. Songs like ‘Awake My Soul’ , ‘The Cave’ or my favourite, ‘Sigh No More’, despite not being a genre I would have considered as preferred before, were able to move me just like the best Whitney Houston’s big ballads do.
So, I’ve been anticipating the release of their second album for a while. But ‘Babel’ doesn’t quite meet the expectations its predecessor set. It has really good, heartfelt songs such as ‘Holland Road’ ,‘Ghosts That We Knew’ or ‘Where Are You Now’, but for the most part it feels like a second best to their début album. Songs like ‘I Will Wait’, ‘Whispers in The Dark’, ‘Babel’, sound like replicas of ‘Little Lion Man’ ; and for the most part this trend continues with most songs on the album, that are often too similar to previous tracks, and it’s not easy to tell whether this is intentional or whether it’s just product of a lack of originality.
Still, ‘Babel’ is a rounded, good album. Mumford & Sons are the masters of the build up, the lyrics are intense, the production is better. Maybe the mistake was to expect a new music revelation from a second album that instead follows the successful sound of the first, but after the novelty has worn off.
Listen to: Holland Road, Ghost That We Knew, Where Are You Now