Jonathan Hill

A Soapbox for Uninformed Opinions


Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues Review

Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues Review

Artist: Fleet Foxes
Album: Helplessness Blues
Genre(s): Folk, Folk Rock
Subgenres(s): Progressive Folk
Released: 2011
Length: 50 minutes
Language(s): English
Label(s): Bella Union, Sub Pop

Track List:

01. Montezuma
02. Bedouin Dress
03. Sim Sala Bim
04. Battery Kinzie
05. The Plains/Bitter Dancer
06. Helplessness Blues
07. The Cascades
08. Lorelei
09. Someone You’d Admire
10. The Shrine/An Argument
11. Blue Spotted Tail
12. Grown Ocean

Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues Cover

Helplessness Blues is the second album by American folk band Fleet Foxes. While having many of the hallmarks of their self-titled debut, Helplessness Blues show some growth in the Fleet Foxes repertoire that proves they aren’t afraid to branch out. The song-writing has gotten more adventurous with half of them averaging 4.5 minutes compared to their debut which only has 3 songs over the 4 minute mark. Elements of progressive music have also trickled in with the influence being most noticeable on The Plains/Bitter Dancer, Helplessness Blues and The Shrine/An Argument.

While the title Helplessness Blues could allure to an influence from blues music this isn’t the case. It would be more accurate to say Fleet Foxes are singing the blues as many of their lyrical themes deal with reflection, finding your place in life, sadness and nostalgia. Nature is still a recurring theme though it is less central than it was on their debut.

In all of the diverse instrumentation found on Helplessness Blues, the only low point to mention is the trumpet on The Shrine/An Argument. It sounds like it is being sexually assaulted by a feral badger when Fleet Foxes summons the worst of Neutral Milk Hotel on an otherwise standout song.

Fleet Foxes push themselves creatively and come out on top so if you can overlook the trumpet incident there’s no reason not to pick up Helplessness Blues.

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