For the Record: Mumford & Sons – Babel

The holidays are long gone, the Christmas CDs have been packed away for another year — it’s time to get serious and start plowing through all the music Nephew1 gave me over Thanksgiving.

First Up: Babel — the second album by popular British indie folk band Mumford & Sons.

mumfordbabel-648x648Like it. Don’t quite love it. Not as strong as their first one. A common failing of musicians who have phenomenally successful debut albums is the second one comes up short. The technical term for this is “sophomore slump.”

It’s hard to knock the album — it sounds a great deal like Sigh No More, but the individual songs don’t stand out like the songs of Sigh. And of course their unique sound isn’t going to be as fresh the second time around. I dunno. I did eventually get more into it, but it took much longer than it did for the first one.

The album’s strongest cut is also the one you’ve probably heard: I Will Wait. Now that’s a great song. It’s so good it belongs on Sigh No More. The extended version has a fair, but pointless remake of Paul Simon’s classic The Boxer. Really, if you’re going to redo The Boxer, don’t leave out the punching bag sound effect during the “lie la lies.”


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