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Mumford & Sons Babel

Mumford & Sons' sophomore album Babel has done gangbusters on the album charts, but how will it fare on Sound Opinions' Buy It, Burn It, Trash It scale? Mumford & Co. emerged from London's thriving folk-rock scene in 2009 with a breakout album Sigh No More that landed them a slot performing with Bob Dylan at the Grammys. With their vests, beards, banjo, and dobro, the band sticks out in the mainstream rock scene, but as Greg explains, the difference is only skin deep. The boys' folky instruments and wardrobe are just signifiers of folk. At its base Mumford & Sons are a sadly conventional arena rock band. Jim could not agree more. The band's lyrics are vague and bland-the complete opposite of the biblical stories that they claim as inspiration. Babel gets a double Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 358
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Music News

It's been a busy week for the pop charts. For 45 years, Elvis dominated the Billboard Top 100 with 108 career hits. This week Lil' Wayne beat The King's record with his 109th hit - a cameo in The Game's "Celebration." And with 600,000 in first week sales British folkies Mumford & Sons had the biggest opening of 2012 with Babel. They also beat Spotify's streaming record, with 8 million listens in its first week. So much for the theory that streaming cannibalizes sales.

After upsetting fans at New York's Global Citizen Festival with the announcement that the band had no upcoming shows, Dave Grohl has finally put those Foo Fighter breakup fears to rest (or not?). In a letter on the band's website, Grohl says the band is simply on hiatus. Jim says he wouldn't mind if the hiatus were permanent.

Go to episode 358

Music News

Taylor Swift, not surprisingly, continues her hit-making reign with a new #1 album called Red. But how she arrived at this top slot is curious, especially considering music industry trends. Her record label Big Machine kept the album off streaming services during its first week. That might've forced fans out to the retail outlets. However, it contradicts the success Mumford and Sons was able to achieve with the heavily-streamed Babel. There's just no making sense of rock and roll.

The votes have been tallied and the results are in! No, not those results. The Mercury Prize, of course. Britain's prestigious music prize has been awarded to the“Boffin Rock”band Alt-J. These young lads beat out Django Django, Richard Hawley and Field Music, among others. What will they do with their 20,000GBP? Dinner with Mum and Dad, of course.

Go to episode 363