Helplessness Blues - Fleet Foxes
Helplessness Blues Image
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 42 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 171 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Seattle indie-folk outfit return with the harmonious follow-up to their debut.
  • Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Folk
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. May 4, 2011
    100
    Wide-eyed self-searching is this record's predominant mode, which Fleet Foxes do both lyrically and sonically, reveling in the process of discovery.
  2. May 3, 2011
    93
    No matter who appreciates or appropriates this music, who likes it or where you discover it, it is a testament to its power more than its populism.
  3. May 4, 2011
    90
    For now, Pecknold and his bandmates are important cogs in the indie-music scene - with a few more albums akin to Helplessness Blues under their belts, they may soon fit just as nicely into the canon of American folk music.
  4. Apr 29, 2011
    80
    In between the soul-searching, Fleet Foxes cranks out some pretty great singalong songs. And that's what it's all about, isn't it?
  5. May 3, 2011
    80
    So if there's one thing Helplessness Blues confirms, it's that he and his band are innovative and dynamic, capable of making music that rises above the disposability of the digital age and lasts a good long while.
  6. May 2, 2011
    80
    The result is almost laughably beautiful.
  7. They peddle the same sort of fake-rustic rootsiness that seems to be colonising our era: all these flatpack off-the-peg dreams of Ruritania that iPad-stashing mid-lifes have taken up as a counterpoint to their rabid technophilia.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 61
  2. Negative: 1 out of 61
  1. May 5, 2011
    10
    NME need to throw in the towel, a 7 for Britney Spears, but a 4 for Fleet Foxes? Was this written by some guy who someone keeps locked away inNME need to throw in the towel, a 7 for Britney Spears, but a 4 for Fleet Foxes? Was this written by some guy who someone keeps locked away in a basement somewhere? Perhaps they don't allow him sharp objects, so instead of pencils, he writes his reviews with his own fecal matter? Regardless, Helplessness Blues is an instant classic,it also translates really well live. There really isn't anything else that needs to be said, this album will go down in history. Expand
  2. Aug 31, 2011
    10
    The Fleet Foxes release their highly anticipated second album and it's more than just a little bit good, in fact its a classic. You can tellThe Fleet Foxes release their highly anticipated second album and it's more than just a little bit good, in fact its a classic. You can tell that in the almost three years since their last album this fantastic collection of musicians have been hard at work, perfecting every strum of the guitar, hitting the sweet spot on every harmony and, most importantly, writing beautiful folk songs. The record begins with the best track of the album and never really falters as we take the journey with them back to a time probably just after the American civil war. The highlights of the album have to be "Montezuma", "Battery Kinzie", "Helplessness Blues", "lorelai" and "someone You'd Admire". This is easily the best album of the year so far and gives good competition to Kanye for the best of the decade so far. Amazing, Just Amazing. Expand
  3. Nov 17, 2013
    10
    There is no doubt in my mind that Helplessness Blues is one of the greatest albums that has been released in a long time. It goes to proveThere is no doubt in my mind that Helplessness Blues is one of the greatest albums that has been released in a long time. It goes to prove something extremely important: Good music isn't made through techno-wash and pop hooks, but instead through good songwriting and solid production. With little besides acoustic instruments and Robin Pecknold's solid gold voice, Fleet Foxes has proven they can make a better album than even the biggest pop producers. This album delivers song after song, pleasing and captivating upon first listen, but deep enough to provide more and more upon further study. The harmony-accented melodies and fantastic instrumentation that fill this album show that Fleet Foxes truly knows what they're doing, and are proving that solid songwriting goes a long way. I have a really deep love for this album, and am fully confident that it is a huge landmark for music in general. I'd highly recommend it. Expand
  4. May 12, 2011
    9
    I was hoping for something more up-tempo in the follow up to their debut but instead, Robin Pecknold grows in his own direction, the directionI was hoping for something more up-tempo in the follow up to their debut but instead, Robin Pecknold grows in his own direction, the direction the music is taking him, I think. It has so many instances of beauty and I think I shall be discovering things I like about this album (and this band) many years from now. Comparisons to Van Morrison are probably apt. Expand
  5. May 5, 2011
    9
    An absolutely beautiful piece of work. The only reviewers who give this album a lower rating are the mainstream magazines who are more thanAn absolutely beautiful piece of work. The only reviewers who give this album a lower rating are the mainstream magazines who are more than likely driven with the interest of profit rather than creativity. If you enjoy music that is created and spoken from the heart, then purchase this album. Expand
  6. Nov 9, 2011
    9
    Rating: (9.3)
    We have seen some good indie/folk records over the years, especially in the past five years or so. Bon Iver has released two
    Rating: (9.3)
    We have seen some good indie/folk records over the years, especially in the past five years or so. Bon Iver has released two very ambitious records, his sound changing dramatically from one to the next. The other very notable band that can be brought up in this discussion are the guys I am writing this review for, the Fleet Foxes. They released their self-titled debut to universal acclaim, but on their second album, (this album), they did not go for a sound change like Bon Iver. Instead, they improved and added on what they had already created. 'Helplessness Blues' is much more ambitious, much more intricate, and much more atmospheric of an album than their self-titled debut. This album pulls off a neat trick of being able to sound like their old album, but still not give the impression of any less grand or spectacular. The layering of vocals and the crisp percussion makes you feel like you are in a giant space, with the boundaries only audible by sound. The acoustic guitar in the songs is very noticeable at the beginning of each new track, but you find it floating off in the background as the more complex aspects kick in. Each track has its own spectacular aspects as well, I do not even feel right singling out any specific song because I feel each one is so much stronger within the setting of the album. This album is something you have to put aside some time to listen to from front to end. Find a beautiful place to sit down and relax and listen to the band take you on a ride and fill your ears with beautiful lyrics. So to sum it up, this is nothing groundbreaking, and I have no doubt that those of you who think Bon Iver's self titled sophomore release will be the one that is the most influential are right. But this album is pure, other-worldly music, at its best.
    Expand
  7. Dec 14, 2011
    2
    oh dear it would help if they wrote actual songs here but instead we' re are mistreated to song treatments, fragments if you will instead ofoh dear it would help if they wrote actual songs here but instead we' re are mistreated to song treatments, fragments if you will instead of the actual thing, all done in the inimitable style of CSN. hey deja vu all over again, it was bad the first time around, it's not getting any better this time. Expand

See all 61 User Reviews

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