Helplessness Blues
Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
Critic Score
Based on 31 reviews
2011 Ratings: #16 / 893
Year End Rank: #5
User Score
Based on 393 ratings
2011 Ratings: #2
Your Review


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 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.


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

Jan 24, 2017
I was raised up believing I was somehow unique
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see
And now after some thinking, I'd say I'd rather be
A functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me

Soooooooo relevant
Dec 12, 2016
Use of instruments is unbelievable. Brings a form of shrinkage to the glorious capacity of our world. I love this music, and the use of the instruments.

Fav Tracks; The Cascades, Blue Spotted Tail, Grown Ocean
Mar 14, 2016
Fleet Foxes reach a higher level of artistry in their sophomore record. An album that was highly acclaimed at the time of its release, but shows signs of consistency and quality even now, five years later. Helplessness Blues shows the band finding a balance in their incredibly vivid narrative and the sparse instrumentation that had been a constant in their sound since the beginning of their career. The songwriting is upgraded in comparison to their already bright debut album, but now the sense ... read more
Jul 4, 2015
Fleet Foxes improve in every way compared to their debut. The themes here are more romantic and relatable. The production is grandiose and beautiful. They're still sticking to their harmony-rich folk style, but I also notice some prog moments here as if it was Jethro Tull. It's not a huge change in direction for them, but they've successfully pulled through with an album that's way more diverse and memorable.

Favourite tracks: Helplessness Blues, The Shrine / An Argument, Blue Spotted Tail
Mar 15, 2014
Best Track: Montezuma, Bedouin Dress, Sim Bala Bim, Helplessness Blues, Someone You'd Admire, The Shrine/An Argument, Blue Spotted Tail, or Grown Ocean
Worst Track: The Plains/Bitter Dancer
Most Overrated Track: n/a
Most Underrated Track: Battery Kinzie