Friday, 12 October 2012

"I cry Babel, Babel"

Life has changed dramatically for Mumford and Sons since the release of their first album "Sigh No More". The folk rock phenomenon have grown up, got married and toured the world and now bring us their most recent offerings. Babel is the follow up album, the difficult one. The one that can make or break you. And Mumford and Sons plan to stick around by the sounds of it.
This seems to be a standout track for me alongside 'Reminder' which comes straight afterwards. And I'm not quite sure why I adore it so. All the songs are typical M&Sons; strong guitar and banjo, "ye olde" style lyrics (half of which Mumford admits to stealing off Shakespeare) and Marcus Mumford's rustic tones paired with laid back, flowing harmonies. However, this one seems to start as a lullaby. Which at first confused me. The haunting lyrics of a love that was too much to bear seemed wrong in a fairy story setting. It was after the first chorus when the music amped up and some strength was put behind the strings that I really fell in love.
There isn't anything wrong with is song. Again it's typical M&Sons but it doesn't strike me as exciting or interesting. It's a slowish song, mainly guitar and vocals and doesn't have an impact as other songs on the album do. It may be its positioning on the disc, situated between "Babel" (the albums title song) and "I will wait" (the first single released off this album) that doesn't do it any justice or it may be the song itself. I'm not sure. Another annoying factor I found, that when you search for this song on YouTube, you cannot for love nor money find the version that's on the album. And that's gonna frustrate an awful lotta peeps.
I wouldn't say the album art was particularly over exciting to be honest. It serves its purpose. I do like the different coloured margins on each page with the song number in them. And I do like having each song on a separate page - it just makes them easier to read for me. And then easier to sing along to. I'm not sure if my mom would agree that it's such a good thing ;) I do have a problem with the text for the lyrics though. I like the fact that they look handwritten but I'd like it even more if I could read them. I do admit, it's probably my eyesight but I know there are people out there with worse sight than me. The photos on the cover are proper M&Sons folky looking; they even managed to get a horse in there. I think it's quite cool to have the photo with people in and then one without all the people. However that's my problem. It does its job but there's nothing particularly brilliant about the album art.

Overall, this is an enjoyable album to listen to. The folk style and rasping vocals lend themselves to this time of year and I feel they've released this album at the perfect point. It's a beautiful follow up to their first single however, still a stronghold on its own. It makes promises of big things to follow which hint at a strong future for Mumford and Sons on the world stage. There seems to be nothing quite like or quite so successful as them and they've done it the right way round. They may now have famous faces tracking their every move but Mumford and Sons aren't changing for nobody and that's what I love most about the album. The sense of continuation and forever-ness from the first album to this new one.

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