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A wry view of life for the world-weary

Have They Really F**ked It Up This Time?

Babel – Mumford & Sons

To successfully follow up a critically acclaimed debut album is always a difficult trick to pull off as, unfortunately, the Mumfords have found out. “Sigh No More” was a breath of fresh air because of its joie de vivre and the deployment of a frenetic banjo as the lead instrument. That was then – the novelty has now waned but Babel treads the same path as its predecessors. It is not a bad album and there are some highlights – I particularly like Holland Park – but it seems to be formulaic and suffers from over production.

They need to get back to basics, pare down the production values and add some variety to their approach. For the true devotees of the Mumfords, this album will cement them in their affections. For those of us who thought they were a breath of fresh air in an increasingly stagnating musical landscape, we will be disappointed that they have played safe and not really kicked on.  

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