Featured in Michael Fremer's Heavy Rotation in the September 2011 Issue of Stereophile and Rated 9/10 Music, 9/10 Sonics in his September 2011 reviews on musicangle.com!
Fleet Foxes are from Seattle and the members of the band are Robin Pecknold,
Skye Skjelset, Josh Tillman, Casey Westcott, Christian Wargo, and Morgan
Henderson. The first Fleet Foxes album (Fleet Foxes) was released in 2008, and
though the band's intention was to record a new album in the 6-8 months
following its release, the reception of the record was such that Fleet Foxes
found themselves very busy, touring consistently through the end of 2009.
The follow-up album is engineered and mixed by Phil Ek and co-produced by Phil
and the band.
Helplessness Blues began in April 2010 at Dreamland Recording in Woodstock, NY
and continued off and on through November of that same year back in Seattle at
numerous studios, including Bear Creek, Reciprocal Recording and Avast. Like
very nearly every worthwhile thing, making this album was not easy; it was a
difficult second album to make. Drawing inspiration from folk/rock from about
1965 to 1973, and Van Morrison's Astral Weeks in particular, Helplessness Blues
sees Fleet Foxes heighten and extend themselves, adding instrumentation
(clarinet, the music box, pedal steel guitar, lap steel guitar, Tibetan singing
bowls, vibraphone, etc., along with more traditional band instrumentation), with
a focus on clear, direct lyrics, and an emphasis on group vocal harmonies. The
album is called Helplessness Blues for a couple of reasons. For one, it's kind
of a funny title. Secondly, one of the prevailing themes of the album is the
struggle between who you are and who you want to be or hwo you want to end up,
and how sometimes you are the only thing getting in the way of that.
Fremer Rated 9 out of 10 for Music, 9 out of 10 for Sound!
"The six person group's lead vocalist and songwriter Robin Pecknold possesses a high, creamy, angelic voice that co-producer/engineer/mixer Phil Ek bathes in a luxurious reverb (though not as much as on the group's nearly underwater but equally effective debut). The melodies ebb and flow dream-like, borne on soft, billowy music beds also floating in reverb created with a wide variety of acoustic and vintage synthetic instruments
including acoustic and electric guitars, fiddle, mandolin, woodwinds, violins, electric bass, hammer dulcimer, harmonium, Moog and Prophet synthesizer."- Michael Fremer, Music Angle, Music 9/10, Sound 9/10
Click Here to read the entire review!
Stoughton gatefold jacket
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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