User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 149 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 149

Review this album

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Dec 18, 2012
    6
    First, I have to say that this is not a bad album, at all. In fact, the lyrics are great, the rythms catchy and the vocals are amazing. That being said, I'm a tad disappointed in this record. I knew the band would not change their style (and I would not want that by any means), but my opinion is that there is such a redundancy in the songs, that not only do I feel like almost all theFirst, I have to say that this is not a bad album, at all. In fact, the lyrics are great, the rythms catchy and the vocals are amazing. That being said, I'm a tad disappointed in this record. I knew the band would not change their style (and I would not want that by any means), but my opinion is that there is such a redundancy in the songs, that not only do I feel like almost all the tracks sound the same, it also feels like it could be "Sigh no more - part 2". I LOVED Sigh no more, so that's not the issue, but I wish they'd have explored, or innovate their potential. In fact, I feel as if after their success with their first album, they were aiming more radio-time, more exposure (I can't criticize them for that, though), which lead to somewhat catchy, less original songs... less M&S, to be short. I do think the songs, individually, are good. The issue is when you listen to the whole album, it feels repetitive. After listening to the record, I only felt like putting "Sigh no more" back on my turntable... Sadly, I expected more of their second album, especially since I loved their first one so much. All in all, this is a good album, great songs, great vocals and intrumental bits, BUT it feels like an arena-based album, less original, more catchy, more encline to meet everyone's tastes. I love this band, so I really wish they don't become another not-so original indie band losing their originality to fit the radio mold. Still, I'm not disappointed I bought the vinyl: good album, just not up to expectations! Expand
  2. Mar 14, 2014
    4
    Repetitive. When I heard the title track, I was excited. It kept me juiced for three minutes, and it became horridly boring. It becomes unbearable to listen to after I Will Wait, and extremely forgettable while it's at it. Though the album has good songs, as a whole it was unsatisfying.
  3. Nov 24, 2012
    6
    I absolutely LOVE their debut Sigh No More. One of my favorite popular albums of 2009. Despite this however, I detected some hints of redundancy structurally on it, which I hoped they'd fix on their sophomore album. Spoiler alert: THEY DIDN'T! Now you'd think I, as a Mumford & Sons fan, would be thrilled that they'd release an album that sounds exactly like their debut. But that's notI absolutely LOVE their debut Sigh No More. One of my favorite popular albums of 2009. Despite this however, I detected some hints of redundancy structurally on it, which I hoped they'd fix on their sophomore album. Spoiler alert: THEY DIDN'T! Now you'd think I, as a Mumford & Sons fan, would be thrilled that they'd release an album that sounds exactly like their debut. But that's not how I listen to music. I want bands to develop. I want bands to evolve. I want bands to experiment stylistically. Or if they don't, they should at least keep their sound interesting. Sadly, none of this happens. Instead we get a watered-down, boring, predictable & rehashed version of their debut without nearly as many memorable melodies & lyrics. Even when they did this repetitive formula on Sigh No More, they at least either gave songs different emotional vibes or (to some extent) different musical styles, or at least made them catchy enough that I wouldn't mind. Here, it's nearly all the same, but this time with a slight hint of overproduction that makes a lot of the instruments just bleed together a lot of the time. There's only a few songs here where something actually sticks in your head or makes any real impact. The rest of the time it's somewhat poetic yet predictable lyrics with themes we've already heard over & over on previous Mumford & Sons songs (HE SAYS THE WORD "HEART" IN 9/12 OF THE SONGS ON THE STANDARD EDITION!) combined with forgettable instrumentation & melodies that rarely even try to be catchy, but when they do it's not nearly enough to save it from mediocrity. And even sometimes when the melodies themselves are good, they don't get good until the structure they've confined themselves in will allow it to be good. Sometimes it doesn't get good until the loud part, or sometimes it stops being good at the loud part. Heck, Reminder is the only song here that stays in one mode, and it's absolutely gorgeous! The bonus tracks For Those Below & Where Are You Now also deviate a little, and they'd be very refreshing to hear on the standard edition. And holy crap, can Winston please play more than one banjo picking pattern?! It's the same one on every song! Now if there's one thing I can say is a constant positive throughout Babel, it's that Marcus' vocals most of the time have a lot of passion & sincerity, which makes it even more sad that he insists on using them on these bland tracks There were even times when I wished I could've been there at the recording sessions to tell him to sing a particular melody in a slightly different way to make it better. Bottom line: okay album but it's very fair to say they've stagnated big-time with this one. Please, Mumford & Sons, try something different next time. Doesn't have to be a complete stylistic transformation but still, do something more interesting than this. The "dramatic buildup" gimmick is getting old. Favorite tracks (in order): I Will Wait, Reminder, Babel, Hopeless Wanderer, Lover of the Light, For Those Below (bonus track), Broken Crown, Holland Road. Least favorite tracks: All the other ones. None are really "bad" though. Just boring, even if they're notable lyrically (i.e. Ghosts That We Knew & Not With Haste). Overall score: 62/100 Expand
  4. Nov 11, 2012
    5
    I really liked their debut, but this is just a boring instauration from 'Sigh No More'. Instead of rememberable rhythms and interesting lyrics, almost every song on 'Babel' sounds the same. You have to have really low expectations to be not disappointed with this release. Their single "I Will Wait" is the only really good song in here, the rest is pretty poor. But I'll give an extra pointI really liked their debut, but this is just a boring instauration from 'Sigh No More'. Instead of rememberable rhythms and interesting lyrics, almost every song on 'Babel' sounds the same. You have to have really low expectations to be not disappointed with this release. Their single "I Will Wait" is the only really good song in here, the rest is pretty poor. But I'll give an extra point because of their style, which is nice. I like them but this album is nothing. It's really boring and so are the lyrics. They don't tell anything! However, it's not that bad, but you won't miss anything if you don't listen to 'Babel'. Expand
  5. Mar 22, 2013
    6
    Mumford & Sons are one of the best folk bands on earth and this album is interesting and good to listen. However I noticed that some songs have almost the same instrumental performance.
    I think that they should be more original with the instrumental aspect because with the voice the band has no problems. I really like Marcus Mumford's voice! The instrumental part is essential in every
    Mumford & Sons are one of the best folk bands on earth and this album is interesting and good to listen. However I noticed that some songs have almost the same instrumental performance.
    I think that they should be more original with the instrumental aspect because with the voice the band has no problems. I really like Marcus Mumford's voice! The instrumental part is essential in every song and if they start to be uninteresting about it some new folk artists that are appearing now in the industry can become better and most succeeded
    Expand
  6. Jul 5, 2013
    6
    The Sophomore Slump. Mumford and Sons have produced an album that sounds truly lazy compared to their debut, Sigh No More. Better luck next time, I suppose.
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 32
  2. Negative: 3 out of 32
  1. Oct 17, 2012
    65
    Babel is the more subtle and accomplished album. [No. 92, p.56]
  2. Oct 10, 2012
    40
    For those who never liked That Guy Who Plays Acoustic Guitar At The Party, Babel's gonna sound like the dentist's drill. For others, this still may be the point at which you put down your makeshift tambourine, get up from the half-circle and find a better room in the party house.
  3. Oct 4, 2012
    65
    It's certainly not a departure from the band's debut, but rather a continuation.