|Fleet Foxes / Helplessness Blues|
|Add Date:||2011-08-21|| ||Pull Date:||2011-10-23|| |
|Week Ending:||23 Oct||16 Oct||9 Oct||2 Oct||25 Sep||18 Sep||11 Sep||4 Sep|
“Helplessness Blues” Fleet Foxes|
What is Fleet Foxes? Crosby, Stills & Nash? Simon & Garfunkel? Seals & Crofts? America? The Seattle band is all of these groups and none of them. “Helplessness Blues” is Fleet Foxes’ 2nd full-length LP, an extraordinary follow-up to its 2008 debut, “Fleet Foxes.” The CD can be classified as folk-rock or baroque pop, but it’s so much more than its genre. And while it draws on its musical lineage, the LP is very much a unique work for today. Musically, it ranges from the psychedelic folk of the 1960s to classical guitar, from an achingly personal singer-songwriter composition to almost church-like hymns. The Foxes’ trademark harmonies soar throughout, and Robin Pecknold’s intricate, often highly introspective lyrics examine some of the many questions of existence. The result is a richly rewarding experience that’s not to be missed. It may well be one of 2011’s finest.
Recommended: 6, 1, 12, 4,11, 5 No FCCs detected.
1. (3:37) Beautiful, soaring folk ballad. Wistful, with rich harmonies. Rapid guitar picking underneath keeps the tune moving forward. ****
2. (4:30) Bouncy folk, full of rhythm, piano and guitar interplay. Catchy.
3. (3:14) Lots of musical changes throughout — soft to loud, a cappella vocals to rich harmonies. Distinctive guitar picking.
4. (2:49) Galloping tune, with thumping drums. About unrequited love and wasted time. ***
5. (5:54) Sounds like a musical round, with call-and-response, almost church choir-like harmonizing. Then, song segues into something that is a lot like Crosby, Stills & Nash (or America?) with 1960s folk flute flourishes. ***
6. (5:03) Best track on the CD. A beautiful, catchy melody. Wonderful dynamics. Interesting musical changes. And highly introspective lyrics. *****
7. (2:08) Delicate instrumental, with almost classical guitar and possibly mandolin.
8. (4:25) A waltz. A lightly skipping dance around the Maypole — but with dark lyrics about a breakup. **
9. (2:29) Another bittersweet, heartfelt ballad.
10. (8:07) A lengthy saga perhaps inspired by Pecknold’s breakup that occurred during the writing of the CD. Moves from soaring reflection to aggressive driving emotion to wistful harmonies — before ending with screeching saxophones.
11. (3:05) Paul Simon-like personal tune. Just a vocal and guitar. No reverb that’s typical of most Fleet Foxes’ songs. ***
12. (4:36) Dramatic change. Driving tempo — guitar, drum and bass — through most of song. Soaring vocals over. Ends unresolved with soft, personal a cappella harmonies. ***