There are surely treasures to be found in The King of Limbs, as the listens pile up ... However, the initial awe is simply not there, and the love-at-first-listen isn’t either.
The highs are notable. The problem is, Blake has put himself in a tight box, and when he strays out of it the material wavers.
The songs on Skying are dense, towering, and occasionally overstuffed.
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.
It's a logical progression from Emma, and one that few artists have been able to make. Most try to return to their wallowing, to mine the same material that connected them with their audience in the first place. But Vernon deserves tremendous credit for wanting to express his hope and his joy.
Where Clark previously impressed through the sheer audacity of her strengths as a songwriter and arranger, here she has stopped trying to impress and simply made an album assembled through feel and intuition, and, taken as a whole, it feels perfect.