“Give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light…” – Ghosts That We Knew
Indie-folk band Mumford and Sons recently released their sophomore studio album called Babel. It is a follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut record ‘Sigh No More’.
Mumford and Sons is one of my favorite bands. And I was really looking forward to their new record. Their first album, which shot them to fame, spawned beautiful songs like “Little Lion Man”. “The Cave” and “Winter Winds”. And man, did “Babel” looks promising, as well.
Comparing the two records in general, I can say that M&S has matured sound-wise. It seems like the band tried to perfect their unique style by smoothening out rough patches. Although their sound has this raw edge to it ever since, they seem to work on it and tried to make a crisper sound for the new record.
Lyrics-wise, I think Marcus Mumford has dug deeper into the play of words and emotions with Babel. In Sigh No More, the tracks can either go full on poetic or full on emotional. This time, Mumford writes in such an emotionally riddled way that most of the tracks are open for different interpretations. But still evident in his writing style is the longing expressed by the heart. He has also used some religious references on most tracks, while in SNM, he used passages from Shakespeare.
All in all, Babel is a good album. Like the Tower of Babel, it is almost an hour’s worth of songs sung in various degrees of emotions. But unlike the Tower of Babel, the album is in no way confusing. It is Mumford and Sons right down to the core. They might have smoothened out, but they still remain true to their roots and their style. Theirs is one that is so distinct and so unique that their sound has become the standard on which others are being compared to.
I highly recommend the tracks “Ghosts That We Knew”, “Lover of the Light”, “Lovers’ Eyes”, “Hopeless Wanderer”, “Not With Haste” and their cover of the Simon & Garfunkel classic, “The Boxer” (available on the deluxe edition).