English folk rock band Mumford & Sons released their highly anticipated second album, Babel, on Tuesday.
Currently No. 1 on iTunes, the album simultaneously portrays the complicated, devastating, and wonderful pieces of the puzzles that are relationships.
Stylistically, the band stuck to what worked from their 2009 debut album, Sigh No More. A co-mingling of acoustic guitar, banjo, kickdrum, piano, and on-point harmonizing between members of quartet recreates the musical ecstasy introduced in their initial album.
And let’s not forget lead singer, Marcus Mumford, who once again does not disappoint with his husky-meets-honey voice that drips with emotion.
It’s clear they have an unspoken mission to top their seemingly-unsurpassable first album, as well as all other albums in similar genres. Multi-faceted emotional themes are present throughout the album: boisterousness, calamity, hopefulness, angst, purity. Some tracks contain suspenseful builds of tempo, while others maintain a rather soft but undulating flow. This careful balance of theme plus tempo places the band on a level beyond most musical groups of today.
The album’s first single, “I Will Wait,” released in August, was the public’s first taste of Mumford & Sons’ newest record. Marcus Mumford sings almost religiously, “Raise my hands/Paint my spirit gold/Bow my head/Keep my head low/’cause I will wait, I will wait for you.”
Also known as the "Gentlemen of the Road," Mumford & Sons is renowned for their phenomenal and moving live performances. They are especially notorious for playing at smaller, hole-in-the-wall venues. In fact, several of the songs on Babel were recorded live to better capture the passion emitted in such settings.
Markus Dravs took the reins for the second time as producer for the album.
Customers have rated Babel five out of five stars, according to iTunes. Listeners will also enjoy The Shins and Bon Iver.