Rolling Stone - p.613.5 stars out of 5
-- "The fact that these guys are able to do big-rock catharsis with humble tools is part of the thrill."
Entertainment Weekly - p.70
"[T]he band has mastered the emotional gut-punch of quiet/loud dynamics, exploding from low-murmured harmonies into full Appalachian freak-outs." -- Grade: A-
Billboard (p.36) - "The acoustic guitar strumming is broad and ferocious, the track 'Below My Feet' provides a new definition of majestic..."
Q (Magazine) - p.963 stars out of 5
-- "[T]his is ultimately comfortable listening, befitting folk sounds of a resolutely un-freak variety."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.824 stars out of 5
-- "[M]ore than just a decent nu-folk album, BABEL is a great pop record."
Paste (magazine) - "The songs are still powerful and moving, and hearing them incites the listener to stomp and yell along in passionate fits."
Personnel: Duchess Nell Catchpole (violin, viola); Ross Holmes (fiddle); Chris Allan (cello); Nick Etwell (trumpet, flugelhorn); Dave Williamson (trombone).
Audio Mixer: Ruadhri Cushnan.
Recording information: Angelic; British Grove; Eastcote Studios; Grangeworks; Last Dollar Studios; RAK; Soyuz; The Odgers' Chapel.
Photographer: James Marcus Haney.
Arranger: Mumford & Sons.
English folk revivalists Mumford & Sons' 2009 debut, Sigh No More, boarded the slowest train it could find on its journey from regional gem to pleasantly surprising, international success story. After simmering and stewing throughout the U.K. and Europe, the band landed boots first at the Staples Center for a rousing performance at the 2011 Grammy Awards that found the smartly dressed quartet tearing through "The Cave," and then backing, along with the equally snappy Avett Brothers, Bob Dylan on a generation-spanning rendition of "Maggie's Farm" that provided one of the better Grammy moments of the last decade or so. They may lack the lyrical prowess of "The Bard," but they know how to turn a phrase, plant a seed, and build a bridge and tear it back down again without losing the audience in the process. Simply put, they can bend the relative simplicity of traditional folk music to their collective wills, which is exactly what they do on their sophomore outing, Babel. ~ James Christopher Monger