Mumford & Sons

What's it called?: 
Babel
What does it sound like?: 
You’ll know that Mumford & Sons are our latest sensation in the US and no-one on God's small earth surely predicted this when they were introduced to me on RadMac as the UK's Felice Bros. The success of album 1 means enormadomes and public V state chippiness and inevitable comparisons to Coldplay now that album 2 contains stadium-sized songs. And yet, Marcus Mumford can write an helluva tune: I Will Wait, Whispers in the Dark, Holland Road, Below my Feet all leapt straight out. Sure, it is choc-full of that kind of banal lyric so unpopular with music critics yet uncared-about by the general public. It has advanced from the first record by its production which uses that all-over-wash sound leaving individual instruments sometimes impossible to discern. So not perfect, but well worth its place in the best sellers list of 2012.
What does it all *mean*?: 
That the most successful banjo-led group is no longer The Wurzels.
Goes well with …: 
Friday night at Glastonbury 2013, I suspect.
Might suit people who like …: 
Well I can hear James, Arcade Fire, REM, The Bad Seeds, yes Coldplay and an alcohol-free Pogues at times.

Comments

Good description!

Heard them on Jools and didn't think it sounded much of a progression from the first. Always tricky to get the second album right - 'more of the same' can mean people think they've got their bases covered already (see Zutons, Thrills, Kooks et al) whilst too much of a radical shift can clear the room too (Killers 2nd springs to mind).

I wanted to hate this. In fact I wasn't even gonna Spotify it until I read your review. And yes, I wanted to hate it purely out of inverse snobbery.
I am tired (and breakdown-inducingly jealous) of the fact that there seem to be far more 'Posh,' stars of stage, screen and disc than there used to be. For fuck's sake, when you have girls in Peckham wanking about a lad called Benedict Cumberbatch, then there is something most wrong. Where are the new Gallaghers? The new Oldmans? (Actually, Gary Could be a stockbroker's son from Purley for all I know.)
No, I DON'T Google; it's cheating.
My point is that I have this creeping paranoia that the rich are now taking the spoils that used to be at least theoretically attainable for the kids at the bottom of the ladder, given the right ratios of talent, hard work and , perhaps most crucially, good luck. I don't think I'm alone in thinking this. Just watch Jake Bugg's management forge a career for him on the back of it.
But then, like Pink Floyd before them, M&S have made me realise that everyone has the RIGHT to make music.

And if it's good, the sociodemographic provenance of its makers is irrelevant .

This album is good.
It's quite good indeed.
Gallingly, it's way better than Jake Bugg's.

C'mon ye new Beatles! Give me *just one more ride* on the rocknrollheroesmerrygoround!!!

I've been fortunate that I've always managed to love all manner of music, buying Haircut 100 and Echo and The Bunnymen singles gave me equal pleasure. The Mumfords overdo the banjo and can sound like music from The Wacky Races but only the most churlish can deny they have that elusive "something" that sets bands apart and why ignore something so fucking uplifting just because the band doesn't fit some irrelevant music prototype. Also see The Vaccines, Two Door Cinema Club and several other new that are making some really great music. Love Mumfords and Jake Bugg and Little Mix if it makes you happy

I agree with you, big style.

and so far, the new one might be even better.

At the risk of following the received wisdom of critical applomb, which can sometimes have us liking the unlikeable and espousing the unespousable, the Mumford et al really, truly are desperate, dire, dinful and dross. Less the teetotal Pogues , more a sober Whisky Priests-lite, and, God knows, you had to be be very very very drunk to see anything of a tune or virtue in them. And they had a better singer.

The Chris Martin-meets-Michael MacIntyre-in-a-Crofters Hut of Folk.

Hideous.

To Marmite & Sons

Speaking of Marmite...
I didn't realise it was possible to hate a band quite so much.
Have a read of this http://thequietus.com/articles/10744-mumford-sons-babel-review-mr-agreeable

(Yes it's my second Quietus link in 2 days but I don't work for them, honest. I picked up the link via Twitter)

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