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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A more than worthy second album
"Can they really follow Sigh No More?" That was the question that every person who loved Mumford & Sons' début album wanted answered. My answer is a resounding yes; Babel is nothing less than brilliant. Musically, there is no departure at all. The sound is very similar to their first album, but the songs are different enough to feel like a brand new collection...
Published on 31 Dec. 2012 by Andy Sweeney

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The difficult (same) album
There's nothing wrong with this album. In fact, if you liked Sigh No More, then I see no reason for you to dislike this album. Largely because it's pretty indiscernible from it.
And that's it's let down - I see no reason to buy this as it's just a variation on a well trodden theme. After 4 or so listens I started to differentiate some of the tunes, but generally...
Published on 31 Oct. 2012 by Andy C.


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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It grows on you, 24 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Babel (Audio CD)
I picked this up from the post box abot 3 o'clock(the first item I have ever felt the desire to pre-order) and have listened 4 times already. I'm currently driving my husband mad. I played the first album at least 3 times a day for the first six months. The good news is they have not not changed their style but have definitely matured. Favourite song so far is "I will wait" which is still ver much in the style of Sigh No More, but Holland Road is a close second. I haven't found a track I dont like or feel I need to skip over as you often do with other artists.
There seem to be more slow songs but tha'ts no bad thing. Some are more inspirational such as Ghosts that we knew. I was worried they may become more commercial but the boys have a strong enough following to be able to avoid that and do what they do best. I wonder how long before I hear this as background music on Countryfile?
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If It Ain't Broke, 26 Sept. 2012
This review is from: Babel (Audio CD)
Since the 2009 release of their massively popular debut album 'Sigh No More', Mumford & Sons looked like one of those new bands that could effortlessly conquer the world in a whirlwind of barn-storming live shows filled with crowd-pleasing anthems; and that's pretty much what they did. With the debut now standing tall at double-platinum (2 million album sales) in the US alone, expansive tours selling out within minutes of ticket release and three years without new recorded material, the world was ready for Babel.

Riding the recent uprising wave of folk success (e.g. Laura Marling, Noah And The Whale, Dry The River, Johnny Flynn etc) in the past few years seems to have been the driving force behind M&S' popularity, which is no bad thing. Laura Marling stands as one of my favourite folk artists already having only released three albums at the time of writing, a view many seem to share within the indie and folk scenes. So behind such success, were the Mumford chaps ever going to change their sound or experiment in any form away from their anthemic debut? In a word, no. Babel is filled to the brim with sing-along, festival ready epics; much like the first album. What else did you expect? If it ain't broke don't fix it.

However, do not think for a second that this is a perfect album because it's flaws are prevalent. The album feels somewhat unbalanced and isolated at times in it's pomp; 'Lovers of the Light' wanders too far away in the wrong direction from the tried-and-tested formula, sounding rather dull when compared to it's other album compatriots. At times the musical formation is very basic and where it tries to show simplicity at it's best, it doesn't always win. 'Lover's Eyes' sounds far too familiar for a band that should be breaking new ground. At times the melancholy is far too heavy, making me wonder how Marcus M ever manages to get up each day: 'And I will not tell of the thoughts of hell/That carried me home from the Holland Road'. M&S have clearly written an album that isn't challenging or particularly bold, but one that sticks close to it's guns and plays it safe without venturing into new territory.

Amid the filler though lie some real gems. The opening track 'Babel' climbs with towering folky grandeur to the peak of Marcus' formidable vocal abilities. 'Holland Road', positioned rather nicely after the lead single 'I Will Wait' (which as singles go is rather epic and deserving of praise), is a sprawling and hideously catchy somber track, complete with the trademark Mumford 'haaaar har har ahaaaar' bridge; definitely one for the repeat button. 'Ghosts We Knew' hearkens to Marling-esque emotion, with a chorus that wouldn't be out of place in one of her earlier albums. It remains one of the slower songs on the album but in being so manages to capture pathos like no other song present. A cover of Simon & Garfunkel's folk tale 'The Boxer' is certainly a welcome addition to the Mumford arsenal, whereas 'Broken Crown' is a dark number much like 'Thistle & Weeds' on the previous album; full of minor chords and the hurried staggering of banjo plucking, one of the more provocative inclusions. The LP finally ends after fourteen songs with 'Where Are You Now', a quiet and calm reflection on a past relation which is left hanging nicely in the air in a way that beckons on more music but to no avail; a real humdinger in terms of understated album closers.

What we have here then is a song-writing 101, a how-to guide of how to get crowds of thousands singing along with you. It is album filled with the promises of hope, and that's what people need nowadays; a bit of encouragement and uplifting. It's clear what Mumford and Co have set out to accomplish with this album and by keeping the formula the same they've carried on exactly where they've left off, with a 'Sigh No More v.2' built for touring. Let's just hope that if they decide to release a third album, it attempts to challenge more rather than settle for more of the same. It'd do them some good.

Rating - 7/10
Key tracks - 'Holland Road', 'Broken Crown', 'Below My Feet'

Check out my blog at (the link is on my profile) where this review is also published, thanks :)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 27 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Babel (Audio CD)
Awesome album, bought it to listen to en route to their concert which too was awesome, I love these guys!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The difficult (same) album, 31 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Babel (Audio CD)
There's nothing wrong with this album. In fact, if you liked Sigh No More, then I see no reason for you to dislike this album. Largely because it's pretty indiscernible from it.
And that's it's let down - I see no reason to buy this as it's just a variation on a well trodden theme. After 4 or so listens I started to differentiate some of the tunes, but generally they're all interchangeable.
I really liked the first album, despite it's obvious appeal to painfully trendy london types, but this second one really brings nothing new to the table. And that's its failing.
If you want some decent re-imagined folk music check out The Imagined Village - infinitely better, infinitely more creative!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 13 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Babel (Audio CD)
This album is well worth any price that you could pay for it. It's songs range from energetic to moving in true Mumford and Sons fashion, employing a whole host of audibly delectable instruments and insightful lyrics. There is a song for every mood. All you have to do is find your favorite!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 13 Oct. 2012
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This album is amazing! If you loved the first album you will love the second. The bonus track with Paul Simon in my opinion is spine tingling, so well worth the extra money. The songs are up to their usual standard and are so distinctive. You will never tire of listening to this album!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars he's a poet and he didn't know it, 28 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Babel (Audio CD)
Loved the first album and was eagerly awaiting the second. Having already heard a lot of the songs on it, initially at The Sage in concert, and on youtube, I was looking forward to the unheard ones. The title track Babel, did not disappoint, a throbbing, full of urgency, masterpiece. However, Holland Road is one long, miserable cheesy rhyme. I love you Marcus, but less is definitely more when it comes to rhyming. There is only so much heart, start, dark, lost, cost,rain, shame, numb and tongue etc etc that I can take before I start cringing! It makes the lines so predictable. That said, I love Lovers Eyes. Lover of the Light and Hopeless Wanderer. Finally, the version of The Boxer is stunning, it shows what a class act M&S really are. So all in all I do love the album, perhaps by the third album they will have taken a few song writing hints from Paul Simon, and King Charles. And do cheer up Marcus!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totes amazeballs!, 22 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Babel (Audio CD)
Wow!!! How do they do it? I mean really ... How do they do it? The first album was really really good but this one is really really really good. All the songs on it are totally really really good, especially the really really good one off of the radio. I'd never go and watch them live because of their questionable hygiene but listening to this album while I'm hoovering the children is just the ticket. Imagine the ghost of Tchaikovsky channeled through Bob Dylan but played on several banjos. I don't know which one of them is the dad but he must be very proud. If this is the result of what happens when you give money to buskers, I for one will be giving all money to buskers from now on. Thank you Amazon for leaving this album behind my recycling bin on time, you've made an absolutely taste-free tool very happy.

By @ad_i_am
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just...love, 20 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Babel (Audio CD)
Amazing, love all of it. Every song fits a different emotion. I can listen to them when I am in a good or bad mood. So beautiful.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing product, 27 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Babel (Audio CD)
I absolutely love Mumford & Sons and was very happy when the product arrived very quickly, with minimal packaging and wrapped up nicely, love love love!
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Babel
Babel by Mumford & Sons
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