Fleet Foxes Review

artist: Fleet Foxes date: 11/18/2009 category: compact discs
Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes
Released: Jun 3, 2008
Genre: Indie Rock
Label: Sub Pop Records
Number Of Tracks: 11
Fleet Foxes are developing a gorgeous sound, that mixes light '60's and '70s classic rock with soaring vocal harmonies and woodsy folk guitar style.
 Sound: 10
 Lyrics: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
review (1) 11 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Fleet Foxes Reviewed by: onlymodestmouse, on november 18, 2009
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Fleet Foxes are developing a gorgeous sound, that mixes light '60's and '70s classic rock with soaring vocal harmonies and woodsy folk guitar style. They are a 5 piece from Seattle consisting of lead singer & guitarist Robin Pecknold, lead guitarist Skye Skjelset, multi-instrumentalists Christian Wargo and Casey Wescott, and percussionist Josh Tillman. The album has a very organic and primitve recording style, with not very much production when compared to other indie folk artists like Devendra Banhart, Sufjan Stevens and Akron/Family. The innovations come in the uncanny use of complex instrumentation, odd chord progressions, and soaring 4-part vocal harmonies. // 10

Lyrics: The vocals are beautifully rugged, yet soft and comforting, and are drenched in reverb to stunning effect. Pecknold sure has a great range, spanning several octaves, and his use of multiple notes per word proves well his vocal control and flexibility. The use of complex 4-part harmonies on almost every song provides a wall of harmony that adds unbelievable depth to the songs. Pecknold also enjoys singing harmony to his guitar riffs, a tricky thing to do, and thus something you don't see to often. The lyrics go well with the music, each song spanning complete seasons and giving the listener pictures of nature, trees, snow, sunshine, mountains, and genuine feelings of naive love/despair. The lyrics can be simply poetic ("White Winter Hymnal") to heart-wrenchingly touching ("Tiger Mountain Peasant Song", "Ragged Wood"). Pecknold seems to sing about his brother quite a bit. // 10

Overall Impression: 01. "Sun it Rises": great intro containing old folk sayings and poetic views of the sunrise, as well as some banjo bits and a pseudo-guitar solo. Very remniscient of mountain folk. (5/5) 02. "White Winter Hymnal": the song that sums up all seasons -- the critic's darling -- one of the most beautiful, simple and mysterious songs on the album (5/5) 03. "Ragged Wood": the last 3-4 minutes of the song is the album's biggest moment. (5/5) 04. "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song": haunting acoustic ditty that recalls childhood and Pecknold trying to understand death. (5/5) 05. "Quiet Houses": a song more focused on instrumentation. Full of odd chords, unusual riffs, and soaring harmonies. Has a very driving beat. (4/5) 06. "He Doesn't Know Why": a sad song about Robin's brother. Beautiful vocal lines. And a beautiful lone piano outro. (4/5) 07. "Heard them Stirring": the album's instrumental, but hardly so, because vocal aaaahhhh's are placed throughout. Very haunting, brings back images of countryside's just entering winter. (4/5) 08. "Your Protector": contains a beautiful flute introduction, with some of the most emotionally peaking lyrics on the album. Again, very complex instrumentation on this one. Remniscient of "Mykonos" from their Sun Giant EP. (4/5) 09. "Meadowlarks": another quiet, stunning acoustic piece. The odd chord progression in quiet arpeggios is sparse until the outro, where all band members join in to harmonize in a goosebump inducing ending. (5/5) 10. "Blue Ridge Mountains": a ponderous tune, again dealing with Pecknold's brother, that uses odd tunings to create a very Tennessee-like feel on the acoustic guitar. The song explodes with shakers, tambourines, mandolin and piano at the climax. Another one of the critic's darlings, again, rightfully so. (5/5) 11. "Oliver James": the heart-wrenching outro, sung by Pecknold only and his lonely guitar. Dodos-like finger picking along with Pecknold giving his all on the vocals, effectively closes the album by releasing all his pent-up emotions that were building up until now. (5/5) If it were lost or stolen, track the bugger down, and smugly snag the album back. It's worth the work. // 10

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