Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes


3.5
great

Review

by Kevin Jalmax USER (9 Reviews)
March 16th, 2009 | 5 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fleet Foxes tickle your ear-drum with beautiful acoustic melodies and pleasant vocal harmonies with their self-titled full length release.

Fleet Foxes is a wonderfully fitting name for this Seattle-based quintet. It paints an elaborate portrait of the purity of nature and its ties with humanity. Typically, this isn't the kind of music I really seek out, but I'm not one to shun something simply because its different from my taste. A (ginger) friend of mine gave me this album and I was pleasantly surprised. The songs on this album have similar structure to one another, but each has a different mood to convey so it doesn't end up sounding recycled. With powerful singing refrains and captivating guitar arrangements, this CD doesn't tire quickly.

They quickly set the mood with Sun it Rises. It's a happy tune, laden with about 4-5 vocal harmonies, that sounds reminiscent of a traditional Civil War era song. It sparks each of your five senses. With the chanting of "Red squirrel in the morning..." You can practically smell the dew on the leaves of the forest. From the very first track, its difficult not to already love this album.

As the album progresses, you realize that no one song trumps the rest. Each one will have you singing the chorus after the very first time you've heard it. White Winter Hymnal and Ragged Wood while both very different songs, are equally good. White Winter picks up in an almost "row-row-row-your-boat" sing-song fashion. It continues on repeating the main refrain throughout the song with some tasteful "oo-oo's" thrown in. Ragged Wood on the other hand, doesn't have a safe sing-a-long formula. Instead, this is a heartfelt song about the innocence of love. While one of the less mellow songs on the record, it still maintains that fresh sense of life that makes Fleet Foxes so appealing.

The lyrics are relatively simple, but very fitting to the mood of the CD. Those the emphasis is not so much on the lyrics as it is the vocal harmonies. Each one is so well-arranged and never pushed to the limit of "Okay...I've had enough." The drums are tasteful and never draw away from the song, which in essence adds to it.

However, there is one very large flaw to this album...these guys can not end a song to save their lives. For instance, Tiger Mountain Peasant Song is a somber tune that has you hooked from the get-go. Then comes, what seems to me should be, the middle of the song where lead singer Robin Pecknold coo's "I don't know what I have done/I'm turning myself to a demon." While the line echoes through your head and you think its going to take you somewhere else, it doesn't. It fades out drastically, leaving you uncomfortably hanging...and not in a good way. This curse plagues other tracks such as Quiet Houses and He Doesn't Know Why. Each either have a ridiculous left-field finish, or just fade out before the song has really set in.

Despite that major faux-pas, I still greatly enjoy this record but that's why its simply a 3.5 when it could have easily merited a higher score. They definitely deserve the critical acclaim they're receiving with this release. A worth-while purchase for fans of any type of music.

Recommended Tracks:
White Winter Hymnal
Ragged Wood
He Doesn't Know Why
Your Protector




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user ratings (1232)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Michael (4)
With every song creating its own natural imagery, The Fleet Foxes have created a wonderful ode to na...

Billy Cranston (4.5)
Fleet Foxes awe and impress with their 2008 debut....

Giuseppe (4.5)
Seattle band showing great promise with an acclaimed debut bringing back folk to a larger audience....

Lewis P. STAFF (3)
For what it’s worth, Fleet Foxes have made an earnest start to the summer, but they shouldn’t de...


Comments:Add a Comment 
thebhoy
Emeritus
March 16th 2009


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review, I disagree with the ending songs poorly part. Oliver James, White Winter Hymnal, Ragged Wood, Sun It Rises, Meadowlarks, Your Protector all end pretty fine to me.

gaslightanthem
March 16th 2009


5209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this could well go up to a 4 for me with further listening tbh

timbo8
March 17th 2009


618 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I also disagree about poor song endings, they sound fine to me. Pretty good review though

shindip
April 8th 2009


3536 Comments


Good review for an average album.

Waior
April 8th 2009


11451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was following the pack all tied up in their coats with scarves of red tied 'round their throats to keep their little heads from falling in the snow.

This CD is so tasty.



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