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  • Babel
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Showing 1-10 of 1,191 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,398 reviews
on December 20, 2014
I had never actually heard this band until a few days ago when a friend mentioned them in a conversation in which I had mentioned The Pogues. I jumped onto YouTube and watched a live concert of theirs and was intrigued! I went to a local store and picked up their first CD, 'Sigh No More', and enjoyed it immensely. Then this CD came in the mail today, and I was in 7th Heaven as I listened to it in my car while traveling around. The 'echoings' I hear from other artists are legion. The Pogues... Flogging Mollies... Kings of Leon... Stevie Forbert??? Their rendition of Simon and Garfunkel's classic 'The Boxer' is incredible [even if I wish they would have added the high harmony in certain parts, like the original].
Truth to tell, I have heard of this band for a few years, but the name of it seemed to bring up completely false images in my mind. I figured they were some sort of neo-bluegrass band for some reason... Mostly because I tend to be an idiotic musical snob! I am a rather old geezer, but the songs they sing of unrequited love and heartbreak and loss and hope remind me of the days when a woman really could break my heart to the point that I would readily 'keen' over a lost love. These guys really did hit me like a breath of fresh air in a stale-air world.
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on March 23, 2013
The Grammy academy definitely got this one right (as they did a few years ago with giving the same award to Arcade Fire). The elements and approach M & S use isn't hugely innovative or complex. But the way they mash brilliant writing, wonderful subject matter, anthemic choruses, roots-inspired instrumentation, and unbelievable emotion---there just isn't anything out there quite like 'em.

But it's not for a lack of trying. There have been numerous acts (an American idol and a band referencing monsters, to name two) that sound pretty good, but this is the real thing. The ambition and emotion separate them from similar acts. I didn't think it was possible that they could top Sigh No More, but I believe they proved me wrong. And in the process, further proved that the term "sophomore slump" doesn't apply to this band.
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on March 4, 2016
Love Mumford & Sons - you have to love the driving music and the accents and the rough and tumble poetry that they put into song. I'm a fan and always will be. I am really enjoying the album, though as with most CDs, there are a few songs I could take or leave. If you're a M&S fan, this will not disappoint you.
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on January 14, 2016
Mumford & Sons=great album. Marcus Mumford=where do I begin? He has the most interesting voice I have heard in a long time, sort of a cross between John Hiatt and John Fogerty and then something uniquely his as well. "The Boxer"-a bonus track, was so beautiful I was literally fighting back tears. I have never heard someone who could sound so forlorn. It's completely recognizable as the Simon & Garfunkel standard but Marcus adds a slight tweak to the melody line that makes it fresh and new . Add a powerhouse chorus with a staggered rhythm the second time around and searing instrumental soloes and this song has been reinvented!
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on September 28, 2012
Not meaning to make this sound overly scientific (mainly because it is art), it is worth noting how these guys have found a special magic within their sound together. As the follow up to the 2009 album, Babel does a lot to impress the listener.

Energy; both vibrant and subtle -

Mumford & Sons has took the world by storm using their raw mixture of acoustic melody, percussion, and that catchy little banjo to compliment the ensemble. Complimentary vocal harmonies just serve as added measure, just in case you had not been won over yet. What sets Babel apart is the freedom from the market expectation of ALL adrenaline in every arrangement. The band allows themselves to go quiet at times to paint a picture that is in compliment to what Mumford & Sons has created since their early formation.

Something old, something new, and ultimately something comfortable -

This album feels familiar, but it allows us to visit some new places as well. Feed the base, and expand; that's what has been done here. The word disenfranchise just doesn't become an issue when listening(important part of the formula). Instead, we see an added dimension to the painting and expansion to its frame.

This is a live touring band capturing a set of moments in a studio. These songs will play well on the road and individually to listeners. Well done, gentlemen!
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on February 28, 2013
It's albums like this that make most of what the music industry produces these days seem even more like so much garbage. The heartfelt lyrics pierce the soul, at times, and the emotions build with guitars, banjos and even brass to a crescendo befitting the sentiment, never out of place or disjointed.
I nearly stood up off my couch when I saw that Best Album was awarded at the Grammys. Well deserved, and refreshing that an album this good is finally recognized by the masses that seem jaded by mediocrity.
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on May 19, 2014
The band follows Sigh no More with a album that is even larger in sound than the first, a feat I thought impossible. Love that Jerry Douglas makes an appearance (He makes anything better). Again, I consider this band to be Bluegrass, but everyone else considers them rock. Either way, the record is amazing, and it has constant play on my ipod.
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on August 9, 2016
If you like the sound of 5 guys in harmony and ukulele's (and I mean who doesn't) then you will love Mumford and Sons - specifically Babel. Moving on from their first album - this album shows an evolution whilst not straying to far from the core sound. My only complaint - not with this vinyl, but with most - is that the bonus tracks are not included. This means you miss out on their amazing cover of 'The Boxer' by Simon and Garfunkel. But the rest of the tracks on here are amazing. Shout out to 'Lover of the Light' - totes brills track!
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on October 22, 2012
We're relatively new fans of Mumford & Sons, and I almost never buy an album (downloaded or CD format) when it's brand new, but I made an exception in this case. A long road trip needs some new tunes, and this was just the ticket. :)

We're of Celtic heritage (both my husband and me), and listen to full-on Celtic music regularly. Our son would say "almost constantly, Mom." ;) Regardless, we have found ourselves LOVING the mandolin, banjo, and other instruments in these songs. The Celtic heritage notwithstanding, the melodies are catchy and singable, the lyrics are deep, and many songs are "ear-worm-able," which means I wake up with one running through my noggin on any given morning (today, it's "Hopeless Wanderer").

I especially appreciate the raw honesty in the lyrics of M&S - they convey what I experience, believe, and don't have the musical eloquence to convey on my own. We did remove "Broken Crown" from the playlist b/c of its explicit nature, and b/c I don't want to have that particular conversation with our 10 y/o son. He knows the meaning of the word and that it's vulgar, but for his (still concrete-thinking) brain to wrap itself around the use of that word in lyrics by a group professing faith is more than he can handle and more explanation than I want to engage in at the moment. It will go back in the playlist as he grows, but for now, it's out.

M&S is on high-rotation in our home right now - for good reason. If you like real, gritty, and indie-sounding music, you'll love "Babel" as much as we do. :)
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on March 24, 2013
This isn't a review of the album, but of the vinyl release. As a record collector, I have had recent vinyl pressings ranging from great to awful, so I will offer my insight to fellow collectors considering this purchase.

First of all, the packaging is excellent. The outer sleeve is vibrantly colored with a photo quality matte finish. It is a gate fold, to boot. The inner sleeve contains the liner notes and lyrics, instead of being a generic sleeve, and looks like they actually put some thought into its design. The record itself is heavy, with non-generic center labels. On top of this, it comes with a download code for those times you don't feel like carrying your turntable with you to the gym! Whoever packaged this payed allot of attention to detail. My only complaint is that my copy had some whitish residue on the vinyl itself. It didn't seem to affect the sound, but isn't cosmetically appealing.

The actual sound quality of the vinyl is high, for recent pressings. It doesn't sound as muffled and muted as many recent releases I've purchased. I've heard better, but this is by no means bad.

If you like the Mumford sound and collect vinyl, this is a good purchase.
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