Helplessness Blues

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
Critic Score
Based on 35 reviews
2011 Ratings: #22 / 919
Year End Rank: #6
User Score
Based on 659 ratings
2011 Ratings: #2
May 3, 2011 / Release Date
LP / Format
Sub Pop / Label
Indie Folk / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
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.

94
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.

90
musicOMH

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

90
No Ripcord

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

90
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.

88
Pitchfork

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.

80
Drowned in Sound

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

80
AllMusic

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.

80
PopMatters

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

80
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.

70
DIY

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

40
NME

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

RakkSmells
96
I guess I've never seemed like the biggest fan of the 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
ThrowBackG
88
So I haven't listened to this in years and I don't think I even finished it then. After reading Wes' "Friends as Albums" post (again) I figured I'd give it a spin again......Wes...my man...are you like a psychic or something? Because damn. Just damn. This is like one of the most relatable things I've listened to since discovering Haley Heynderickx
TreyLikesBands
97
Amazing

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, ... read more
MasterCrackfox
88
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
WildChameleon
94
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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