Quick Review (LP): Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes


Fleet Foxes
Helplessness Blues
Sub Pop; 2011

My Rating: A (86/100)

Best Tracks: "Montezuma", "Bedouin Dress", "Sim Sala Bim", "Helplessness Blues", "Lorelei", "Someone You’d Admire"

An “old soul” soul record.

NOTES
– Let me just get this out of my system: it is not humanly possible to top their debut LP and its accompanying EP.
– I think that is my favorite opening lyric in a long time: "So know I am older/Than my mother and father/When they had their daughter/Oh what does that say about me?"
– "Montezuma" is almost beautiful enough to reduce you to tears from the outset.
– Sounds like Fleet Foxes, but there is a wholly organic growth and realization here. They certainly aren’t resting on their laurels.
– Also, Pecknold is one of the most unconventional songwriters I’ve ever heard. Wonderful!
– Love the fiddle on "Bedouin Dress." And the lyrics…magnificent! "The borrower’s debt is the only regret of my youth." "Just to be at Innisfree again/All of the sirens are driving me over the stern."
– I saw these guys play the Ryman a few weeks ago. It was transcendent. Here’s clip of Robin performing "Oliver James." Again, it makes me tear up just thinking about how beautiful it was. Divine.
– Gettin’ their Led Zeppelin on during "Sim Sala Bim."
– Man, "Helplessness Blues"… you gotta love the heart on the sleeve. What a triumphant tune.
– "Lorelei" is beautiful. Sounds quite a bit like Dylan’s "4th Time Around."
– Gorgeous melody on "Someone You’d Admire." Recalls Simon & Garfunkel.
– "Grown Ocean" never quite reaches the heights of grandeur that I hope it will. I can’t quite put my finger on what’s missing. Anyone want to take a stab?
– There are a few less than transcendent moments on the record – "The Cascades", "The Shrine/An Argument" – so it’s not perfect by any means. However, it’s still pretty great, and a worthy follow-up to one of the best debuts ever.

ATTRIBUTES
Cohesion (5/5)
Consequence (4.5/5)
Consistency (4.5/5)
Concept (5/5)
Songs (4.5/5)

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One Response to Quick Review (LP): Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes

  1. Pingback: Top Albums 2011: Honorable Mention « Sweet Georgia Breezes

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