I'd heard of Fleet Foxes a couple of times, but I'd never really listened to their stuff. I was pleasantly surprised by this audio anti-wrinkle cream. Helplessness Blues is audio optimism, with beautiful instrumentals and pleading, resounding vocals that will make your head nod.
Bedouin Dress was one of the most interesting tracks, with a slight country twang but a timbery tone that makes it the kind of music you expect to hear as a traveler rides in a train, staring out the window dreamily; the kind of music to which the bohemian couple set up their super-hip house together, all record players and libraries. While Bedouin is upbeat and captivating, Sim Sala Bimstays softer. It's powerful, poignant music like this that I live for; it makes you forget that life will end. Forget energy drinks and caffeine, let's try music! Fleet Foxes are like Mumford and Sons, but without the darkness of Dust Bowl Dance or vengeance of White Blank Page. These guys just enjoy making their music. They easily catapulted onto my top bands list, within the first four tracks.
Now, despite the constant happy-go-smile-until-my-face-falls-off attitude this album reeks of, there was one track that broke from it, without breaking quality. The Plains/Bitter Dancer was quite a bit darker than the rest. It has a minimalist beginning and erupts into something epic. The break into rapid guitar plucks and lyric drop keep the listener's attention. This music could never be background sound; it's far too interesting. It is an infinite quilt of music, stitched from the finest of harmonies.
The last track that is mention worthy is Lorelai, named after a siren of the olden times, truly an enticing song. Perhaps Lorelai did sink a ship; a relationSHIP. Babum, chhh.
DEFINITELY get this album. It'll cure bad days for you. A real winner.
* * *
In stores: now
5 out of 5 stars