Review: Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

I’m not real big on folky music.  I just need to put that out front.  I appreciate Bob Dylan, and I even own a lot of his albums.  I even do some other folky artists.  But for the most part, folky music isn’t near the top of my list.  It’s not that I hate it – it’s really more about understanding the context.  If you don’t grow up with it, or maintain existence in it, in some way, it’s hard to really grasp.  I imagine it will stay that way.  However, this album could at least make me keep a more open mind.

I have the first Fleet Foxes record, and I thought it was sorta cool, even if I’m certain it only got two really turns in my spin cycle.  This probably won’t have a lot of play either – but it would be because of the quality.  In a word – it is excellent.  It just has a nice vibe over the entire project.  They don’t take a long time to build up into what they want you to see, which I appreciate as someone not huge into folk stuff.  They go right in – with the lyrics, the instruments, and everything in between.  It’s forceful, without the hammer fist to the face.  I want to shed a special like on the album’s lyrics, because they are the real collective jewel of the album.  They speak to how he stacks up in life, from literally the very first lines on the album – “So now, I am older…Than my mother and father….When they had their daughter…Now, what does that say about me?”.  The ol’ question as a (possibly rhetorical) answer trick!  But seriously, the lyrics are very well done, and as with everything else, consistently so.

Grade: B+.  It’s not genre changing or anything – but I dunno, maybe it is.  Maybe I need more folk in my life….maybe not.

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