April 27, 2011

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

I never had any trouble warming up to Fleet Foxes' music. They're one of those bands that's immediately likable upon first listen. There's no thick sonic layers that you have to sift through to get to the heart of the music, it's all right there, and it makes me feel all cozy and warm inside. That's what I love about this band. They're unique in that they're most comforting on cold, wintery days, at least to me.

If you don't know Fleet Foxes, they're characterized by their wonderfully smooth-flowing harmonies, intertwining acoustic guitar lines, endearing, sometimes sad lyrics, and pleasing melodies. They sound like sweethearts, right? At least that's what their music suggests, it must be true.

Helplessness Blues shows more or less the same of what they displayed on their debut, except some of the songs here seem to strive to be more ambitious, which I like. And that certainly rubs off on tracks like Helplessness Blues, my personal favorite here, and The Shrine/An Argument, which actually changes it up a bit towards the end with Andrew Bird-esque string arrangements and a bunch of cacophonous saxophones playing at random. Totally un-Fleet Foxes. And I'm cool with that, I'm glad they're trying something different. Other stand-out tracks include Grown Ocean, a track which seems to sum up the music on the album perfectly, Montezuma, whose harmonies seem especially resonant, and Bedouin Dress, which takes a slightly different route and is lead by a jiggy-sounding violin line and drum combo.

Overall, the songs here are extremely pleasant, and there is just the right amount of exploration past their usual boundaries, but it's missing a lot of the hooks that made me fall in love with their debut. I can see myself listening to this a lot, but I won't remember the songs as well as I did on their debut (with the very strong exception of Helplessness Blues). And that's why this album falls short of something that could have been really great. But none the less, this is actually a really good album, and for everyone who was worrying that this would be a disappointment compared to their debut, I can guarantee you that you'll enjoy this to say the least.

1. Montezuma
2. Bedouin Dress
3. Sim Sala Bim
4. Battery Kinzie
5. The Plains/Bitter Dancer
6. Helplessness Blues
7. The Cascades
8. Lorelai
9. Someone You'd Admire
10. The Shrine/An Argument
11. Blue-Spotted Tail
12. Grown Ocean



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.