Last week, British folk hit Mumford and Sons released their sophomore album, Babel, and people all over the world went crazy. Foot-stomping became a staple. Screaming "I Will Wait" from rooftops was an international phenomenon.
But this week, things haven't quieted for the down-to-earth group from West London. Their album has hit the #1 bestselling spot in both the US and the UK, and is bashing through records as it goes (second-most digital downloaded album, most-streamed Spotify album).
Babel itself is a great crowd-pleaser album. There's not quite as much soul here as their first offering, 2009's Sigh No More, but there's more spirit. There's more raucousness and more power.
People who fell in love with Mumford and Son's Irish roots will, unfortunately, be disappointed; Babel deviates pretty decisively from anything resembling classic English folk. And there's not anything completely new in this album, either; the same horns play at the climaxes and the same banjo licks populate each track. But these aren't bad things; they simply aren't new things.
The band does experiment with switching tempos in-track, which adds a fun and exciting edge. And tracks like "I Will Wait" will be stuck in your head for months to come. Mumford has definitely found their niche, and they're keeping steady with it.
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