Mumford & Sons are certainly not a band I would recommend or 'listen' to on a regular basis. That may be a bold statement, but it's true. Something’s in life are truly free, as is my expression; I'll never publish a fake review. This is legit expressionism and journalism covering a band called Mumford & Sons. The album is called Babel. If you're expecting what some would call a positive review, then you're in the wrong place. This is Music Review Database and here we review albums with some form of objectivity.
Now that I have your attention, I'd like to quote Ben Lovett. "We're the poor man's version of The Beatles." This statement in itself angers me, let alone the modest Beatles comparison. Mumford & Sons are the musical equivalent of Mitt Romney… Outspoken, clueless and downright artificial. We'll experience some more Mumford & Sons quotes later.
You don't have to be an NME reader to know about Mumford & Sons; they are literally everywhere. Forget Radio One, forget BBC advertisements and forget newspaper cover stories. Mumford & Sons are top dogs in the United States of America. Radio, TV like ESPN, my girlfriend’s dorm in Pennsylvania... There is no escape. 2009's debut album Sigh No More was generally well received. Certain audiences loathed Sigh No More, whilst others swallowed it up in a sweet 'authentic' gulp. Those in my vicinity were often left questioning me 'Fleet Foxes? Who are they?’ The harmonies are there, the single material stands out, but what was it about Mumford & Sons that left such a big scar on modern folk music. Was it the lack of originality? The depth? Structure? Or was it the tedious reality that they are nothing compared to the likes of Tim Buckley, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and yes… Fleet Foxes.
So what does Babel sound like? Sigh No More. No really, it sounds like Sigh No More. On paper, three years have passed… On your IPod, nothing. This isn't surprising given their choice of direction. Mumford & Sons are a very commercial band. They don't manipulate sounds at all; it's actually quite sweet and baroque. The titular track has an ear catching, but simple guitar riff. Mumford & Sons are not special musicians. They're vaguely talented per se... This is something I think most listeners notice. Tracks like "Whispers In The Dark" and "Holland Road" do little to please or grab my attention. It's the 'vague' factor again. Yeah, they sound nice... It's lovely instrumentation, but its god damn bland. The progressions are predictable, one listen is enough for anyone to formulate an opinion.
"I Will Wait" does offer some form of 'catchy' material. The opening riff features the same range of instruments we've heard by Mumford & Sons in the past. This track is ultimately a Coldplay B-side with a banjo. The chorus is slow, obvious and quite annoying. Then again, I can just fuck off. Ben Lovett: "The cynics can just all fuck off." I'm beginning to dislike this guy. They put out tracks like "Ghosts That We Knew", a laid-back fingerpicking Americana-esque track. And "Lover of The Light", again, a slow laid-back and simplistic track. How can they expect people not to be cynical when they say, and I quote none other than Ben fucking Lovett, "We think this new record will attract a different audience. And broaden people's view of us." What complete and utter bollocks. What audience are they expecting? They have American girls in dormitories singing "Little Lion Man", nursing teachers singing along to "The Cave" on The Pulse (Sirius XM). This different audience doesn't exist. And no musical or lyrical segment on Babel will broaden people’s view of Mumford & Sons, I can assure you of that.
Mumford & Sons were once described, "A load of retarded Irish folk singers", by Mark E Smith. The Fall frontman seems to always step over the line. What he says might sound and read offensive and wrong, but there’s truth and correction within his words. Mumford & Sons themselves have criticised their own ability to play their instruments. Ben Lovett has stated, "We have no idea what we are doing, so if anyone thinks they have figured us out, they are five steps ahead of us.” I hate to break it to you Ben; we're not five steps ahead of you. You're just five steps behind everyone else.
Babel comes down to one thing, and that’s originality. These tracks offer very little more than Sigh No More, I'd agree indefinitely to a Sigh No More > Babel view. This album never excites or surprises me. It just makes me want to turn it off and forget about Mumford & Sons.