11. Mumford & Sons, 'Babel'
The biggest little string band on the planet followed the surprise pop success of 2010's Sigh No More with a bigger, bolder set of folk revival jams. Babel is an arena-size strumfest, pumping barn-raising choruses into the U2 stratosphere. Marcus Mumford rains down Bible-thumping doom like a Puritan divine, giving his evocations of love, guilt and longing an epic sense of historical weight and moral drama: "The pull on my flesh was just too strong," he sings on the fallen-soul's lament "Broken Crown." His bone-deep sincerity is pretty strong, too.