Tagged: 2012

babel by mumford & sons

So, I don’t know about you, but I love Mumford & Sons, and have been highly anticipating Babel. Marcus Mumford has this powerful raspy voice that is totally his. It is pretty obvious to anyone who has heard a Mumford & Sons song at least once what their sound is – folk. There is no other way to put it. Simple chords, catchy lyrics, and a beat you can’t help but slap your thigh to. But you may have noticed after Sigh No More, their first album that came out 3 years ago, every song of theirs seems to sound the same. Now, if you’re a Mumf fan you’re thinking one of two things. 1) “What!? Have you even heard Thistle & Weeds? It sounds nothing like The Cave!” or 2) “So? I like their sound.” Those who agree with thought 1, please hear me and the 2s out. What makes Mumford & Sons so great is the fact they know what they’re good at, and they stick to it. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Babel is proof of that. In fact, take a listen to Broken Crown, sound familiar? It’s Thistle and Weeds. Not exactly, I know. But pretty damn close. And you know what? We love it. So what if you don’t use more than 4 or 5 chords? So what if all do is wail and scream your raspy scream Marcus? We love it. And so what if all your songs are about unrequited love? We love unrequited love!

Okay, but in all seriousness, I really like this album. The first time, I thought I was just listening to Sigh No More with new lyrics. The second time I still thought it sounded the same, but maybe better? More mature perhaps? I must ask you again to hear me out. You’re probably thinking I am an unreliable Mumf fan now. Sigh No More was, in my opinion, one of the best debut albums to come out in the past five years. The songs flowed perfectly from one to the other. Their sound was different, freeing, and had the ability to transport us to a place we don’t often visit in this day & age. And if you’ve listened to Babel once or twice, you probably don’t think it’s anything special. My challenge to you is to listen to two songs: Lover of the Light and Hopeless Wanderer.

Lover of the Light is the perfect stadium song. No more small stage pubs for these guys. Well, who am I kidding? They will always play at pubs. They wouldn’t be Mumford & Sons if they didn’t. But now they have a song that I can imagine filling a large stadium, every note reverberating and surrounding the audience. Everyone will want to “love the one they hold.” And I can say the same for Hopeless Wanderer. The whole crowd going hush as the first few fast notes of the piano are plucked. Then everyone will begin to sway to the familiar rhythm. And you know when everyone in the band sings a chorus the audience sure as hell will join in. Especially when they know those fast guitar strokes are coming up. The swaying will stop and the bouncing will begin.

But Hopeless Wanderer has another thing going for it. I’m willing to say it is the stand out song of this album. I can’t put my finger on what it is exactly that makes it different from most Mumf songs. It seems to be a little bit of everything. The very prominent piano instead of acoustic guitar in the beginning. The fact that Marcus is not heartbroken or angry, but his voice is actually giving off a tiny bit of sex appeal. And there is something else. Something purely electric going on. I’m not a musician, so if I’m wrong in saying it sounds like there is an electric guitar there, I deeply apologize. But what! Mumford & Sons going electric? This song is definitely unique for the boys.

So, yes on first, second, and perhaps even third listen, Babel does sound a bit like Sigh No More 2.0 But don’t give up hope. The boys haven’t lost it. They just know what they’re good at. And any real Mumf fan out their knows – we love it!

-Noelle Smiley

¡uno! by green day

¡Uno!, one of 3 upcoming Green Day albums [namely, the ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré! trilogy, a series of studio albums to be released from September 2012 to January 2013] was released on Sept. 25, and they’re back with long time producer Rob Cavallo. This album is much different from 21st Century Breakdown, with short spurts of energy, each song is sure to keep you dancing on your feet with a big smile on your face. From sexual tension “Stay The Night“ “Trouble Maker“, to love “Fell For You“ “Sweet 16“, to anger “Let Yourself Go“ “Loss of Control“, there is still a lot of emotion on this album that anyone can relate to. In the words of the band, ¡Uno! is like getting ready to go the party, and it definitely has that feel.
Personal highlight: “Angel Blue”

Julie White

coexist by the xx

It’s the truth that a lot of us human beings don’t know who we are or where we’re going. But it’s fact that every second we spend obsessing over the unknown is time wasted. Time evaporates into thin air during the Indian summers of this generation. To some, it’s terrifying. To others, it’s freeing. Whether we deny the fact time is slipping away from us or not, we must always make some for ourselves. But it wasn’t until a late night by myself, when I heard the lyrics ” And the end is unknown, But I think I’m ready, As long as you’re with me Being As in love with you as I am” that time stopped completely(Angels/Coexist).

I didn’t know this indie-pop band, The Xx, could literally stop all thoughts and time with one simple line of lyrics. From the song “Angels”, time ceased and I knew I had to learn more about this band and the album it came from. I didn’t know it was 3 a.m. and I didn’t realize until an hour later that I had repeated the song about twenty times. Time evaporated once again, but I clearly didn’t care. This song reminded me of the love I once had for him. Him. The first man I ever fell in love with. “There’s no one that knows me like you do.” (Our Song/Coexist). The first man I ever let break my heart. “I ask you would you have stayed? Did I hold you too tight? Did I not let enough light in?” (Chained/Coexist).

The album hit me hard. It made me questions why things ended why they did, and why I wasn’t good enough. But it was beautiful, and the songs told a personal story for me. It reminded me of the summer I rebuilt myself back up again. It reminded me of how terrifying time can be. How I didn’t know who I was without him, and how I had to build myself back up as a new person. It showed me how strong and important music is and how healing it can be in the process of building strength. It also showed me that looking back on memories is a healthy thing. That obsessing over the unknown is time wasted and we must always make time for ourselves with The Xx and Coexist.