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Friday, February 15, 2013

Fleet Foxes -- Helplessness Blues

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5/10

Helplessness Blues is far more dynamic than Fleet Foxes' previous music. Unfortunately, it's also very indistinct. While there are a few surprising twists and turns from their signature, limited, acoustic sound, the songwriting just isn't strong enough to make those moments special. With this weak songwriting, few moments stand out in memory. It's just singing and playing. The end result sounds just like the album cover looks. Stare at it for twenty seconds, and ten minutes later, it's just some eyeballs and a blurry mess in your head. Just trade out eyeballs for harmonies.
Here is one of Helplessness Blues' few standouts.

2011 Sub Pop/Bella Union
1. Montezuma 3:37
2. Bedouin Dress 4:30
3. Sim Sala Bim 3:14
4. Battery Kinzie 2:49
5. The Plains / Bitter Dancer 5:54
6. Helplessness Blues 5:03
7. The Cascades 2:08
8. Lorelai 4:25
9. Someone You'd Admire 2:29
10. The Shrine / An Argument 8:07
11. Blue Spotted Tail 3:05
12. Grown Ocean 4:36

2 comments:

Neal said...

Interesting... that Helplessness Blues reminds me a lot of Simon and Garfunkel. Good compliment, given their style. Still working on the rest of the album, but it is a pity they didn't learn from Simon and Garfunkel that you have to vary the album more.

Nicholas said...

Yep. They would benefit from that old Bob Ross trick where he'd paint a really placid, boring picture, suddenly streak a black gash across the middle, then transform the painting into something else entirely.