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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
By HANNAH ELLIOTT, Robinson High
Grade: ****, 4/5 asterisks
Marcus Mumford and his “sons” are back with their sophomore folk-rock album, Babel. After extreme success in 2010 with Sigh No More, hugely thanks to word of mouth and social media, they have established themselves as the forerunners of the emergence of folk and bluegrass in the mainstream.
I was caught in the newfound excitement surrounding the English group in June 2011 at Bonnaroo. They were easily the most anticipated act of the four-day festival and their late afternoon performance came at the exact moment their song Little Lion Man was topping the charts. They drew one of the biggest crowds of the weekend, with people on top of the fences at either side of the expansive field. This was one of their last performances in the United States, and it left the fans eager for their return.
Babel is exactly what the fans ordered, with the same good ole foot stomping, hooting and hollering tunes. The album doesn’t stray much from Sigh No More, with no crazy experimentations or surprises. Mumford & Sons have stepped it up with cleaner, catchier, arena-scale sophisticated songs that resemble the popular anthems from Sigh No More, such as Little Lion Man and The Cave.
Mumford & Sons approaches folk-rock in a new, more accessible way. Marcus Mumford’s crooning vocals lull listeners into a folk wonderland anyone can enjoy, especially combined with the energetic banjo, subtle piano and euphoric group choruses.
I Will Wait is a hymn-like, lovesick anthem that embodies every aspect that makes Mumford & Sons who they are, with melancholy banjo, carefully placed brass, tormented lyrics and passionate delivery evoking goose bumps in every song. Babel didn’t take too many risks and will make fans anxious for the band to get on the road and give fans a more expansive taste of their talent and energy. In a world ruled by Ke$ha and Pitbull, they give hope for popular music. And the smooth transition to Babel will ensure their relevance in the music world in the coming year.