Spotify Listen Link: Mumford & Sons – Babel
- WIN: Album of the Year
- Nomination: Best Rock Performance for "I Will Wait"
- Nomination: Best Rock Song for "I Will Wait"
- Nomination: Best Americana Album
- Nomination: Producer of the Year, Non-Classical - Markus Dravs
I think it's safe to say that this was one of the most anticipated sophomore albums in recent years. I know I was excited, and clear the industry knew what we were getting - I'm just excited to finally have an hour to hear it all!
"Babel," the title track, kicks things off in a very expected way - entertaining, hard-hitting strings, with slow emotional and thoughtful moments tucked within. Though I have to say, there's something much more emotional and tense in this voice as it goes this time around.
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This lightly sways in to "Whispers In the Dark." Almost like a ghost sound in the background instrumentals for this one. I'm trying to be careful to not assume this sound is just as the previous album, though this band for sure has a very distinct sound. "I lost my head but found my heart." Beautifully classic sentiment.
"I Will Wait" - ah, yes, the single. It's been a great driving song when I manage to stumble upon it on a dark night on the road. The rhythm, naturally, provides the best elements of that. The quiet sentiments in the main chorus are gorgeous, but in sound and in sweet talk. As it builds, I… I don't know how to describe. Ever had your heart fill with love and desire to scream for all the ridiculous reasons music may make it do that?
I need to see this band live. And I maybe need to do that at Red Rocks.
"Ghosts That We Knew" is just sort of ironic considering who I just texted 'Happy Birthday' to (I'll take this moment to remind you this is still a blog and I still get to write what I want). The song's so beautiful and just heartbreaking enough, in both a good and bad way, that I am dropping everything, including my head to the desk, to pay attention and breath my way through. This would be able the point in time my friend Dave would've yelled at me for being too cryptic with my posts on the Internet.
Here's a performance from Letterman of the quiet song:
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Something very pop is happening with "Lover of the Light," and it's leaving me feeling conflicted. This is still M&S, but just so polished and pretty through the speakers that I have a hard time being okay with how much I like it. Damn musical inner conflicts! Also, who gets away with using 'sanguine' in a song lyric??
"Lovers' Eyes" comes in quietly, just sneaking into our senses. Honestly, while I normally try to type my thoughts as a song goes, this was one I really just kicked back and enjoyed. There's every bit of M&S element you could want in one of their tracks strewn throughout this one. It's just a great job done by them overall.
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"Hopeless Wanderer" reminds me that this is a band that actually is growing in their sound over time. I love the dynamics used, moving up and down as needed with the points being made. Oh, and the instrumentation? I swear, second-to-none with this band. They know how to keep it moving so well and pull people in like a good film with how they move along those strings. Your heart beats with the rhythm of the songs.
"Below My Feet" kind of gives you a moment to breathe again; to regain composure. There's a quiet humbleness in this song that builds in confidence. This is a hidden one I think should go on graduation CDs and noted as a good life song. The whole thing's about remembering who you are in the world and what you are here for. There are mottos built in and they're brilliant! And have we mentioned the harmonies on this enough yet? No, I believe we need to note them again, because in the highest tension points of this song, the harmonies carry the intensity just as much as the drumming does. Incredible.
"Not With Haste" is the final song in this collection, and something about it just makes it a good ending song. There's a finality in the chords used, and the mood is so confidently over. It's everything, of course, you could want in a M&S song, without changing too much at all for the sake of a new album's close.
Added to My Playlist:
- "Whispers In The Dark"
- "I Will Wait"
- "Holland Road"
- "Ghosts That We Knew"
- "Lover of the Light"
- "Lovers' Eyes"
- "Hopeless Wanderer"
- "Broken Crown"
- "Below My Feet"
And so another wonderful M&S album is done and over with. Man, these guys get better and better and I can't believe it. To the friend that will never read this that got me in to this band: as always, thank you.