Review: Fleet Foxes, ‘Helplessness Blues’

Review: Fleet Foxes, ‘Helplessness Blues’: Aidin Vaziri | Throw on a bohemian rainbow spinner skirt and bring the unicorn out front – Fleet Foxes are back with their second full-length album. Draped in early-morning mist and late-night desolation, on “Helplessness Blues” the members of the hirsute Seattle band dig even further into their parents’ Simon and Garfunkel and Crosby Stills Nash and Young LPs. Acoustic guitars are politely strummed, baroque melodies gently rise and fall and singer Robin Pecknold delivers line after line of patchouli-scented prose. “I was raised up believing I was somehow unique/ Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes,” he sings on the title track. From the light jazz backbeat of “Bedouin Dress” to the bare “Blue Spotted Tail,” the mood is unwaveringly mellow, with only the echo-chamber drums of “Lorelai” capable of chasing away the butterflies. It’s beautiful, lofty music, no doubt, but your tolerance for it will depend largely on your ability to shut off the modern world and picture yourself traipsing through a forest to the strains of a Ren Faire instrumental called “The Cascades.”

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