Fleet Foxes Release Much Anticipated ‘Helplessness Blues’

May 5, 2011
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Fleet Foxes - Helplessness BluesThe second release by Seattle’s Fleet Foxes is a mostly Alternative Folk sounding release. Starting out with “Montezuma”, background vocals compliment lead singer Robin Pecknold as do alot of their songs. This is mostly acoustic with ambience in the background. “Bedouin Dress” builds nicely with a haunting melody driving it. “Sim Sala Bim” is a Folk flavored tune. It is acoustic with some. but not a lot of percussion. “Battery Kinzie”, although good, is not one of the stronger songs. “The Plains/Bitter Dancer” is one of two long songs that are two songs together. This one has the background vocals in overdrive, not unfamiliar territory for Fleet Foxes, and a very interesting sound they have here.

The title track sends the message home. Frustration with limitations of self is the theme here and throughout the recording. Acoustic with a lot of vocals, then filling out with an electric Alternative Country sound. This is my favorite song on here. “The Cascades” is an acoustic guitar instrumental with minimal production and a few ambient parts. This is a beautiful song. “Lorelai” is a nice sounding acoustic song with a pretty good beat and I like this one quite a bit. Strong vocal performance by Robin, and an excellent acoustic song. “Someone You’d Admire” is acoustic with lead and background vocals and nothing more. Not over or under done, but just right. 

“The Shrine/An Argument” is the second of two for one songs. This is easily three or more songs. Starting out acoustic with alot of vocals, it gets very percussive for awhile, then more acoustic guitar with alot of vocals, then very Folk ensemble sounding. I like this one considerably for its musical range. “Blue Spotted Tail” is unique for Fleet Foxes as it’s just Robin and acoustic guitar, with no background vocals. I like the diversity on this release. “Grown Ocean” has a nice slide sound on it, percussion and acoustic guitars, with a good vocal backdrop. This is a four star effort from the Fleet Foxes, when you may be in the mood for mellow depth.

Fleet Foxes are: Robin Pecknold (lead vocals, guitar), Skyler Skjelset (lead guitar, mandolin), Christian Wargo (bass, vocals), Casey Wescott (keyboard, mandolin, vocals), Joshua Tillman (drums, vocals, arrangements), Morgan Henderson (multi-instrumentalist, arrangements).

Contact the Author: KennethEOquist@ArtsandEntertainmentPlayground.com


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