New Albums: Mumford & Sons – Babel
Freddie Matthews writes from London: Indie folk band Mumford & Sons are taking the world by storm. On the music scene since 2007, the band had toured the UK and now also the USA extensively, even before their debut album ‘Sigh No More’ was released in late 2009. Personally, I would categorise their musical style as wholesome, toe tapping, head nodding, Irish bar like, rousing and modern indie folk with a present day Sunday afternoon festival feel. Their songs often build like a many a dance or even trance track. They intertwine the traditional instrumentation of the banjo and mandolin with the modern bass guitar and drums, along with a whole host of other musical instruments and raw talent to produce songs that have an incredible ability to make you smile, even if just inside at first.
The debut album sold over three million copies worldwide and now the brand new album Babel has already broken 2012 first week of release sales. In the USA alone, Mumford & Sons’ latest album has amazingly beaten off first week sales from the likes of Justin Bieber, who sold half as many as Babel’s 600,000 in his first week with the album Beliebe. Not only are London’s Mumford & Sons selling albums by the truck load in the USA but the album is also heading towards the top of the UK album chart come this weekend. Just a couple of weeks ago The Killers new album, Battle Born, sold a staggering 94,000 copies in its first week in the UK. Now at 90,000 sales in just three days, Mumford & Sons are well on course to thrash The Killers with that very same lightning bolt on the cover art of the Battle Born album sleeve.
The current single from the Babel is called ‘I Won’t Wait’. I bet the lads are more than glad they did wait almost three whole years of crafting and producing this next album into the very masterpiece it is and that the subsequent, very early days, sales have proven it to be.
9/10 (that’s a first for me)
New Albums: Deacon Blue – The Hipsters
Glasgow’s Deacon Blue formed in 1985. In their day they had 16 top 30 singles, five top 20 albums of which three were top 5 and one, When The World Knows Your Name, topped the UK album chart in 1989. Some of their classic songs are still played on UK radio today, over two decades later. These include: Dignity, Real Gone Kid, Wages Day, Fergus Sings The Blues and Twist and Shout. However, all were from a three year period from 1989 to 1991 inclusive at about the time the band started to go off the musical and popularity boil.
Eleven years in the making Deacon Blue have just released their new album The Hipsters but, alas, there is absolutely nothing Hip about this uncreative album whatsoever. Actually even calling the album that is a total contradiction. Yes, we can hear the textures, melodies and harmonies from a Deacon Blue of old but nothing has changed. Where’s the abundance of optimism that oozed from the musical pores of the Glasgow band? Instead, however, now there’s even more trend conscious pretention that was almost acceptable 25 years ago but it just doesn’t feel right anymore. Where are the lessons learned from the last 11 years? It’s very disappointing. 4/10