Music News

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

It wasn't too hard a decision to christen Helplessness Blues as my favorite album of 2011. Robin Pecknold knows how to write a goddamn song and the band shows an amazing polish that many bands come across on their fourth or fifth albums -- certainly not their second. Such is the copious talent of Fleet Foxes.

For what it's worth, I haven't listened to an album like Helplessness Blues that makes me want to sing out loud to every single lyric in quite some time. It's just that much fun to listen to.

What the critics are saying:

Paste Magazine: While some bands can't keep an entire album within a similar tempo range without producing a muddled, bland collection of songs, Fleet Foxes excels in meaningful simplicity.

Rolling Stone: Helplessness Blues is vocalist-songwriter Robin Pecknold's dazzling evocation of early-Seventies rock Eden: the Sunflower-era Beach Boys and the spaced-cowboy romance of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, dosed with the Indo-Celtic exotica of the Incredible String Band.

Los Angeles Times: In its best moments, "Helplessness Blues" sparkles like some sort of divine plan, but a plan that knows the value of mistakes, surprises and even regret. Stolen, lost or repaid, all of Fleet Foxes' debts are forgiven.

Pitchfork: Much has been made of American indie's recent obsession with nostalgic escapism, but Robin Pecknold doesn't retreat. He confronts uncertainty while feeling out his own place in the world, which is something a lot of us can relate to.

Helplessness Blues is out now via Sub Pop.

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Michael Lopez