Babel - Mumford & Sons
Babel Image
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 125 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second release for the folk band was produced by Markus Dravs.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 33
  2. Negative: 3 out of 33
  1. 91
    The band has mastered the emotional gut-punch of quiet/loud dynamics, exploding from low-murmured harmonies into full Appalachian freak-outs.
  2. 80
    It's not perfect, but it's perfectly Mumford & Sons.
  3. Sep 26, 2012
    67
    There are images of walls and towers in nearly every song, but they don't serve as a unifying theme--a missed opportunity for an album named after a famous tower.
  4. Sep 19, 2012
    60
    the focus on matters of the heart is limiting, reducing the genre to the level of rusticised boy-band pop. [Oct 2012, p.84]
  5. 60
    If you can get past the earnest nostalgia and tweedy affectations, this isn't a bad album, just an average one.
  6. Sep 25, 2012
    50
    What the album leaves you with is the image of a little lion man, rattling his ever-expanding cage.
  7. Oct 1, 2012
    10
    I'll admit, the songs on Babel wouldn't be so painful if it weren't for the god-awful "deep" lyricism of Marcus Mumford.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 38
  2. Negative: 6 out of 38
  1. Sep 29, 2012
    10
    This album is definitely more polished than the first. Babel stands up well to Sigh No More with no less than 8 great tracks. "Lovers' Eyes" and "Hopeless Wanderer" being good enough to rival "The Cave" and "Little Lion Man". Pick up this album and you won't be disappointed! Collapse
  2. Jun 6, 2013
    10
    Mumford continues to reunite society with a lost sound of music. Instead of the annoying and irritating hip hop and pop, and artists such as Lil Wayne and Maroon 5. Mumford and Sons bring folk music storming back with one of the best albums in the 2010's Expand
  3. Sep 25, 2012
    10
    Mumford & Sons are back and better than ever! This is an excellent sophomore album from this wonderful back band from England. It is better than Sigh No More? Probably not better, but just as good. I am currently on my 5th listen and I absolutely love it. Expand
  4. Jun 26, 2013
    8
    The amount of criticism this album has received seems completely unfair while i agree the band could have aimed for something new its only their second album and when reviewed on its own merits i fail to see the problem.

    Babel is a good album with catchy songs in keeping with their folk-rock style that's appealing to a wide range of audiences.
    Expand
  5. Nov 4, 2012
    7
    It's a very "if it aint broke, don't fix it album". Mumford sticks to the strengths that made them an international success with Sigh No More. Babel has an "arena-folk" type feel to it with a few very catchy tunes. The songs range from darker biblical inspired themes to catchy and fun stomp-your-feet-to-the-beat tunes. If your a fan of Mumford and Sons this is a good buy. If your not a fan of Mumford and Sons well that is your right and no judgement is passed on you by me. Expand
  6. 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 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
  7. Feb 10, 2013
    0
    I was trying not to give this album a 0 however, it has literally no redeeming values. Even if I were to like one of their songs, would I like it enough to hear the same song repeated for the length of an entire album? The answer is simply no. However, that would be potentially tolerable if the one song itself was acceptable yet it isn't. Each song is increasingly predictable with repetitive banjo riffs and weak vocals. This is only compounded with lyrics that seem like they came out of a 14 year old who just finished reading his first Shakespeare play. Do yourself a favour. Listen to one of their songs (which will essentially be like listening to the entire album). Realize how terrible it is and then never speak of it again. Expand

See all 38 User Reviews