Sunday, May 8, 2011

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

  • Gatefold
  • Lyrics included

  • Album Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)
  • Sound Quality: 5/5 (Perfect)
  • Packaging: 4.5/5 (Excellent)

Fleet Foxes have done it again! It's been slightly less than three years since the group released their self-titled debut album that garnered overwhelmingly positive reception and showed the world that 60's era folk-rock isn't dead yet.

With their sophomore full-length, Helplessness Blues, the Seattle-based indie giants haven't altered their formula much since 2008; maintaining a steady balance of folksy, playful instrumentation and sweeping, Simon and Garfunkel-esque harmonies. While all the simple charm of the first album is present on the new one, the track "The Shrine/An Argument" shows an untapped potential that we have yet to see from the Fleet Foxes. This epic, 8 minute song with tempo-changes abound introduces a stranger side to frontman Robin Pecknold's songwriting. Incorporating an odd blend of dissonant strings and horns reminiscent of Bitches Brew era Miles Davis; a far cry from Fleet Foxes' usual sound.

Tracks such as "Helplessness Blues" and "Someone You'd Admire" return to the folksy style we've come to know and love from the Fleet Foxes. Simple, catchy melodies and acoustic guitar-driven songs dominate the album, but an underlying ambition is evident from start to finish; something that sets Fleet Foxes apart from other indie-folk acts of today.

The vinyl sounds incredible, showcasing the powerful harmonies and musicianship astoundingly well. If you're only opting for the mp3s of Helplessness Blues, you're missing out on what is sure to be one of the best sounding records of the year.

The two heavy pieces of wax are packaged in a gatefold jacket that feels nice and solid. On the inside of the gatefold are the lyrics to each song. My version also came with two posters and a sticker. I am unsure whether these come with every release or are just goodies thrown in by pre-ordering from Sub Pop.

Purchase Helplessness Blues on vinyl here (Amazon): Helplessness Blues


  1. Your blog, sir, is spot on! I really enjoy your reviews! Perhaps review some Pavement! They are my favourite!

  2. Great blog, i love vinyls, got mysel a load of Hip Hop and older Punk Vinyls :)

  3. Nice cover art- nice insert. Going to have to look into this.

  4. Vinyl's seem so cool, your blog has made me alot more interested in them.

  5. Very cool cover art for a really cool band!

  6. Great, I will purchase this soon

  7. Fleet Foxes on vinyl! What a treasure!

  8. Fleet Foxes on vinyl, I'd like to have that one!

  9. I'm a digital kinda guy... but Sim Sala Bim and The Plains would probably be amazing on vinyl!