Album Review, Download: Fleet Foxes' 'Helplessness Blues'
[pullquote quote=”If you use a nicotine patch it can give you really insane dreams, really vivid and real. I’d put one on before going to bed to see what would happen.” credit=”Robin Pecknold”]When [lastfm]Fleet Foxes[/lastfm] released their self-titled debut album in 2008 it received much fanfare and critical praise. They set out on a tour that summer and didn’t stop until about a year ago when they decided to go into the studio and start recording their follow up album Helplessness Blues. The Seattle group rented a space where many artists in the past had recorded albums including [lastfm]Death Cab For Cutie[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Nirvana[/lastfm].
Lead singer Robin Pecknold revealed to NME that the band’s new album ‘Helplessness Blues’ was partly inspired by nicotine patches he was wearing during recording.
[photogallerylink id=51517 align=left]Pecknold went on a solo tour in the fall of 2009 and started to really focus on his songwriting and vocals on the tour to catch the attention of the crowd. This attention to detail helped him while recording the new album. Unlike the last album, Helplessness Blues has an attention to detail when it comes to the vocals of Peckold bringing them to the forefront of each track. The album is full of reverb on vocals and the hard strumming guitars, making it sound as if the album was recorded in a grand church.
The lyrics on Helplessness Blues really come out through the harmonies just like on their debut album. The harmonies of the band create a unique sound that isn’t found on many other albums and is truly the defining sound of the band. The band tends to bulk up their sound a bit throughout the album with heavy drumbeats and passionate brash vocals that make for a welcome sound on this new album.
Fleet Foxes – “Helplessness Blues” [DOWNLOAD]
The album has several standout tracks on it besides the single and title track “Helplessness Blues,” which is a great example of how the band has changed its sound slightly to bring the vocals up throughout the entire album. The fourth track on the album “Battery Kinzie,” has a great catchy chorus and hard drumbeat that will be a welcome sound to the Fleet Foxes faithful. Another great track on the album is the lengthy song titled “The Shrine / An Argument,” which features uncharacteristically brash vocals and hard rocking acoustic guitars that create a classic sounding folk rock song.
Tracklist for Helplessness Blues:
2. Bedouin Dress
3. Sim Sala Bim
4. Battery Kinzie
5. The Plains / Bitter Dancer
6. Helplessness Blues
7. The Cascades
9. Someone You’d Admire
10. The Shrine / An Argument
11. Blue Spotted Tail
12. Grown Ocean