Helplessness Blues

[Sub Pop]

With due respect to the band’s parents, it was nearly impossible to listen to Fleet Foxes’ 2008 self-titled debut album and not wonder if these harmonizers were raised in seclusion with a stack of sentient Crosby, Stills and Nash records. The voices were startling in their nakedness and purity, as if some irresponsible mentor had forgotten to tell the band that modern music isn’t supposed to be so gentle. Now that the cozy singing has lost some of its shock value, samplers of this sophomore effort should have an easier time noticing all the other things the group can do. Josh Tillman’s drumming is forceful when necessary, yet always careful not to butt heads with the songs’ narratives. And even though singer-songwriter Robin Pecknold sings ever so sweetly about being helpless, his lyrics hint that he has enough drive and self-awareness to survive and thrive. –David Styburski

comment closed

Copyright © 2011 M Music & Musicians Magazine ·