Wednesday, April 20, 2011

FL33t Foxes- H3lplessness Blu3s (2011) MP3 & FLAC

"I was raised up believing I was somehow unique, like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes."

While a cursory listen to the Fleet Foxes' long-awaited and much-delayed follow-up to their brilliant debut album suggests that not much has changed in terms of the band's sonic approach, those who dig beneath the ornate surface of Helplessness Blues will discover a journey into darker, often existential, territory. With Phil Ek once again manning the production booth, Fleet Foxes inhabit an even more expansive reverb-drenched soundscape than before, lending both a bottomless and timeless feel to their meticulously constructed baroque-folk compositions. Whereas their debut album tended to be a bit abstract lyrically (which put a lot of responsibility on the music itself to convey the album's emotional power), Helplessness Blues finds Robin Pecknold venturing into singer-songwriter territory; for example, in "Blue-Spotted Tail," Pecknold ponders humankind's greatest yet utterly unanswerable question: "Why in the night sky are the lights on?"  On "Helplessness Blues," one of the most powerful songs the Fleet Foxes have yet recorded, a similarly reflective existential theme emerges, as Pecknold peels away the illusions we cling to in order to give a vestige of form to our lives in the face of inconceivable randomness: "If I know only one thing, it's that everything I see of the world outside is so inconceivable, often I barely can speak."  While Helplessness Blues does depart occasionally from the soaring harmonies that have become the band's trademark (there are several tracks with Pecknold playing lone folk troubadour), overall, their sophomore album manages to improve on one of the best debut albums in recent memory. Go out and support this band.

Helplessness Blues
 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)


  1. Thanks so much. I have heard the new Fleet Foxes CD and it is epic. I cannot wait until I finally get to see the band live in Boston MA in May. Dreams will come true! Kurt

  2. Kurt, yes, I'm planning on seeing them live as well. Great great album!

  3. I've had this one I guess I need to give it a listen!

  4. Listening to their debut automatically calls up my best mermories of 2008 (no small feat, considering what a lousy year that was for me).As with their first album, it's taken me a few listens to wrap my head around this one, which is unusual for me with music that's so melodic and inviting. But now that it's sunk in, I'm convinced that this is their best work yet. Too bad the Austin show's sold out.

  5. wolfspider, thanks for the great comment. You also more or less described my experience of both albums (2008 was a crappy year for me too). Man, I miss Austin :)


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