Mumford and Sons’ Babel

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After the band’s debut album, Sigh No More, released in early 2010, Mumford and Sons made folk rock cool again. They changed the idea that folk music was only for hipsters and ex-hippies, with “Little Lion Man” peaking at No. 45 and “The Cave” peaking at No. 27 on the Billboard Top 200.

With the release of Babel, their second album, the band is again trying to push the forgotten genre of folk rock into the mainstream. Mumford and Sons have found their specific sound, and they stick to it almost to a fault. Most songs follow the pattern of starting off soft and quiet then getting even quieter, until the crescendo as they grow louder and louder until the song eventually ends.

A majority of Babel follows this formula, with the notable exception of “Reminders,” which opts for a single guitar and vocalist. Immediately after “Reminders” is “Hopeless Wanderer,” which follows the band’s crescendo formula but sticks to a minimalistic approach, using only the bare essentials of the band: a vocalist, one guitar, one banjo and a handful of backing vocals.

Mumford and Sons have helped reintroduce folk music as a dominant genre in today’s pop culture. At this point Mumford and Sons have placed their mark on the genre, and Babel has only helped to cement themselves that much more in the history of folk rock.
4 out of 5 stars