Helplessness Blues

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
Critic Score
Based on 36 reviews
2011 Ratings: #25 / 977
Year End Rank: #5
User Score
2011 Ratings: #3
Liked by 52 people
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A.V. Club

Wide-eyed self-searching is this record’s predominant mode, which Fleet Foxes do both lyrically and sonically, reveling in the process of discovery.

Beats Per Minute

Fleet Foxes have become a band who will not stop pushing, who will challenge themselves to avoid stagnancy, who will work with both their instruments and their minds.


Helplnessness Blues is not a reinvention, but rather a refinement.

No Ripcord

Helplessness Blues is a cosmic, bombastic record, undaunted and ready to expose itself on every corner with a whole lot of heart.

Consequence of Sound

It’s an album that makes you sad that it’s not longer; sad that it can’t just go on forever.

The Needle Drop

On Helplessness Blues, Fleet Foxes improve just about everything that they were doing on their last album.


The record showcases the band's expanded range and successful risk-taking, while retaining what so many people fell in love with about the group in the first place.

Drowned in Sound

It’s a richer, more diverse sound than their self-titled LP or the Sun Giant EP.


It's the music that stands out, and the band's acoustic folk/chamber pop combo makes every song sound like a grand tribute to back-to-the-land living.


This is a dynamic record that improves on the band’s already impressive accomplishments in every way.

Under The Radar

Far from that folksy, laid-back image, Helplessness Blues confirms Fleet Foxes' place as one of the most exacting, creative, and straight-up best bands making music in 2011.


This is more than just a supremely strong follow-up.


Fleet Foxes suck. They’re the soy-latte house band of Starbucks.

This is Simon and Garfunkel on STEROIDS: a much more grand and full production and instrumentation style, three part harmonized vocals, and a better overall tone for an album. It's a satisfying listen through and through, and it has a homey and nostalgic feel to it, almost as if you're travelling somewhere that you haven't been to but it feels familiar. I believe that this might be the overall theme of the album as well. So sosososo great.

Color: Yellow
FAV TRACKS: Helplessness Blues, Battery ... read more
I guess I've never seemed like the biggest fan of folk music. Like, wow cool, a bunch of guys play guitars while a squeaky guy gets existential. But the first time I heard this jesus christ I was converted this shit is brilliant.

HOLY CRAP. Helplessness Blues has to be the best folk album I've ever heard. It isn't much different to a lot of folk music I've heard but the spirit of the album, the lyrics, the sound, the melodies, the vocals, they're also just so brilliant and beautiful. The ... read more
Been listening to this album a lot recently. It's a great companion to the Lord of the Rings, which I'm rereading.
As a big fan of Fleet Foxes debut record, the follow up was always sure to please me. After a few relistens over a couple months, it's hard to deny just how magnificently pristine this record is.

There are two distinct things that stand out as high marks for Helplessness Blues; the vocal performance, both in the vocal harmonies that are littered across the groups music as well as the focus on Robin Pecknold, along with the instrumentation that switches from grandiose to simplistic.

Pecknold ... read more
Fleet Foxes is one of the bands that defines my taste for indie music, specially indie folk. I relisten (again !) the entire discography but I really want to talk about HB.

HB is one of the few albums that are impossible to replicate in live version. Go check the lives, some get close to the original material but it's not at the same levels anytime. One of the main reason is that there are SO much micro-arrangements and instrumentations. The perfectionism behaviour of the leader even leaded to ... read more
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Track List

  1. Montezuma 
  2. Bedouin Dress 
  3. Sim Sala Bim 
  4. Battery Kinzie 
  5. The Plains/Bitter Dancer 
  6. Helplessness Blues 
  7. The Cascades 
  8. Lorelai 
  9. Someone You'd Admire 
  10. The Shrine/An Argument 
  11. Blue Spotted Tail 
  12. Grown Ocean
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