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Mumford & Sons Stunt-Cast ‘Wire’ Star Idris Elba in ‘Lover of the Light’ Video

Critical darling Elba stars in and directs latest clip for critical punching bag 'Babel'

picture-18576-1373300776Marc Hogan // November 5, 2012

Until Taylor Swift’s Red came along, Mumford & Sons’ Babel had the biggest debut sales week of the year, its fan base broad enough to include Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus. But Babel also got SPIN’s Worst New Music tag, with reviewer Chuck Eddy damning it as poe-faced, smug, and musically incurious. Mumford obsessives and detractors alike ought to find common ground in the new video for the album’s bluegrass-gone-U2 goosebump-seeking missile “Lover of the Light.” Idris Elba, who played Stringer Bell on HBO’s The Wire and the title character on the BBC’s Luther, stars in this clip as a man driven crazy by grief. Elba also directs, and the shots of him scrambling through Welsh woods toward a sun barely over the horizon would be visually appealing no matter what song was playing. That’s a high bar for a music video to clear — although, to be fair, if it were set to Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill,” Elba’s work here might almost be too on the nose.