- Crack-Up

Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up
Based on 28 reviews
2017 Rank: #73 / 522
Based on
311 ratings

Apple Music



The band has proven that neither their self-titled debut nor Helplessness Blues represent their ceiling.

Pretty Much Amazing
Hot take: their third record is their best, a meandering, wild, untamable masterpiece from a front man who refuses to stop studying and refuses to be predictable.
Drowned in Sound

Crack-Up is perhaps Fleet Foxes' most epic and inventive record yet.


With Crack-Up's earnest explorations of the human condition and evocative, progressive composition, Fleet Foxes maintain their status as one of the best folk rock bands of the 21st century.

The 405

More charming than ever before, Fleet Foxes' return with Crack-Up is a major step for the band, contriving a brand new era of divine melodies and break through compositions.


Crack-Up joins the ranks of albums like Homogenic, OK Computer and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot—works by eclectic, established artists who decided to push boundaries even further and subsequently produced masterpieces.


Put aside the inclination to strip it for singles, and Crack-Up’s generosity can feel bottomless. Rather than a show of contempt for the confines and craft of a three-minute pop song, Crack-Up is one of trust, applying its harmonic and textural gifts with the same free-flowing intuition as Joanna Newsom’s Ys or Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House.

‘Crack-Up’ is a work of too much depth to simply be declared the best – or otherwise – of their work, this early into its release upon the world, but it is blindingly clear that not only is ‘Crack-Up’ an album that stands as distinct as any of its predecessors but also sits comfortably in their brief but refined discography.
Under The Radar

That the album sounds like no one else is a high compliment—no one else comes close to touching Fleet Foxes in this type of music, and the moments the band creates on Crack-Up are some of the finest you'll find on any record this year.

Consequence of Sound

Challenging throughout and at times jarring and inscrutable, Crack-Up searches for a resolution just out of reach.

Entertainment Weekly

At eleven songs and nearly an hour long, the band’s latest work is both their most challenging and their most rewarding.


Fleet Foxes’ third album, Crack-Up, is at once sumptuous and ambitious, a serpentine journey from the center of harmony-drenched folk-pop out to the edge of Pecknold’s brain and back. It is lovely, strange and generous, and ultimately a very welcome return for the Seattle band.

Some may be unconvinced by the ambitious leap Fleet Foxes have made on album three, but there’s really no doubting the first-rate intelligence behind this uncompromising and ever-changing piece of work.
The Independent

Throughout this intensely poetic, introspective album, currents of guilt, regret and resolution battle in quiet turbulence, the group’s trademark harmonies and acoustic folk settings augmented with additional sonic strata.

For Fleet Foxes, it represents a shift away from their more idyllic early days into a period of artistic growth and sophistication.

What this album actually is, is the Fleet Foxes we already know but on a much, much bigger scale – and that’s all it needs to be.

The Line of Best Fit

Apply a bit of patience ... and this challenging, expectation-defying, flawed but ultimately rewarding record is likely to prove worth the effort.

The Needle Drop

Fleet Foxes triumphantly emerge from hiatus with their most progressive effort yet.

Northern Transmissions
With the album’s long duration and its penchant to wriggle from withdrawn to full-blooded, ‘Crack-Up’ loses some momentum by its eventual finale plus it can become a little predictable in its unpredictability – in that the record has those two settings – near silence and rampant folk. Although, ‘Crack-Up’ is an ambiguous record that will constantly reveal multiple surprises on repeated visits.
Loud and Quiet
Fleet Foxes’ distinctive, highly recognisable style remains on ‘Crack-Up’, but is sometimes deliberately fractured and broken up into a jarring, disjointed soundscape.
Slant Magazine

By otherwise masterfully navigating between dark and light, quiet and loud, sparse and lush, Crack-Up takes contrasting musical ideas and textures and makes them functional, if not transcendent. Ultimately, though, the album fails to shed much light on the mind of an artist more preoccupied with shrouding his songs in crashing waves, shadow, and smoke.

Rolling Stone
Their sound is still rooted in the lush, beardly harmonies and sky-bound strumming that made their first two LPs coffee-shop staples. But they've upped their prog ambitions – tracks wash together, song titles abound with opaque punctuation, and the sweeping melodies often wander into moody places, away from the safety of the campfire.

Despite the record's nebulous nature, there are are still a few great individual tracks that stand up on their own.

No Ripcord

This is – as many expected it would be – hugely accomplished in its composition, and while it’s not short of irritating periods of pretension, it’s par for the course when beauty, indulgence and complexity are key ingredients in the melting pot.


Crack-Up is a solid return after a long time off for Fleet Foxes, even if some of its loudest moments are overthought and confused. But those moments, though distracting, don’t totally blot out the finest songs here.

The Guardian
It is alternately beautiful, intriguing and quite irritating, as bands turning inward and indulgent are wont to be.

It’s a bizarre sensation: listening to something that’s clearly had a lot of time, love and attention poured into it, something obviously impressive in scale and ambition, made by artists admirably trying to push their sound forward – and it leaving you completely unmoved.

A.V. Club

The majority of the record is uniformly vanilla, too overwhelmed by lush strings and pastoral pleasantness to deliver a decent hook. It’s stunning in its orchestration, yet it fails to leave much of a mark beyond that overall prettiness.

Sep 6, 2017
This website almost made me forget what it was like to enjoy music tbh. Just briefly checking in on yall, not staying
May 11, 2017
Fleet Foxes' Crack-Up is a spoon of delicacy. Every song here could be a soundtrack for a fantastic horse race-based movie, winning many awards solely through its sheer will to exist. Throw this on while you are playing with your kids for the first time, and you might actually start to love them. I sent my grandma the zip file for this album, she replied "good looks fam". Last week I wondered whether or not we needed another Fleet Foxes album- I'm not mad, just sad. Really sad. ... read more
Mar 7, 2017*
I haven't listened to this since it came out...
May 25, 2017
Absolutely stunning record. I expected nothing less from Pecknold and the gang after such a long hiatus, but honestly my expectations were blown away by the pinpoint accuracy among the production and chilling vocals. Most likely my AOTY, if not it will easily land in the top 3. It's a somber release that combines all of the prior sonical elements the band has produced with a nice and innovative touch I can't quite describe. While I enjoyed Helplessness Blues a good bit, I don't think it quite ... read more
Jun 27, 2017
This has gotta be the densest album released yet this year, right? Thematically, sonically, I mean these arrangements, the song structures, fucking Third of May is unbelievable. People are saying it's not as catchy as the self-titled and helplessness blues, I mean I agree, but from a full album experience perspective, I mean what else could you want? There's just so much going on here, I don't understand how you can't help but be impressed and in awe of how much work went into this thing. ... read more
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Track List
  1. I Am All That I Need / Arroyo Seco / Thumbprint Scar
  2. Cassius, -
  3. - Naiads, Cassadies
  4. Kept Woman
  5. Third of May / Ōdaigahara
  6. If You Need to, Keep Time on Me
  7. Mearcstapa
  8. On Another Ocean (January / June)
  9. Fool's Errand
  10. I Should See Memphis
  11. Crack-Up

Added on: March 7, 2017