Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes


4.5
superb

Review

by Billy Cranston USER (2 Reviews)
July 19th, 2009 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fleet Foxes awe and impress with their 2008 debut.

I have to admit I wasn't impressed when I heard Fleet Foxes for the first time. The music didn't jump out and grab me, and the melodies didn't particularly excite me. Still, I was intrigued by their charm and decided to give the album a real chance. Immediately I was blown away by the depth and beauty of their songs, and even more shocked to find out that this was their debut. For a band a mere two years old, they show incredible maturity and talent.

The record opens up with "Sun it Rises," which sounds like what I can only describe as a southern prison chain-gang song. The three and four-part harmonies set the tone for the rest of the album, as rich and original harmonies would become commonplace as you continue through it. "White Winter Hymnal" showcases frontman Robin Pecknold's songwriting abilities, with an instant classic that is essentially a huge harmony part with charming innocent lyrics: ...and Micheal you would fall, and turn the white snow red as strawberries in the summertime... For a band this young, it's awesome that they can be so confident in displaying a bleeding child as something charming and fun. The album continues with "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song,"a beautiful song about regret and disappointment. Easily my favorite of the record, the chorus is incredibly catchy while at the same time being beautiful, somber, and sinister at times.

Most of the songs are very catchy and easily accessible, and could be played on the Radio to great success. "He Doesn't Know Why," "The Protector," and "Ragged Wood" especially are all incredibly catchy radio-friendly songs that have their own essence and charm. More harmony and melody at work in these songs, along with some very peculiar endings. "He Doesn't Know Why" closes with a random piano chord progression and the sound of a door closing, which is very cool.

As the end of the album nears, the songs get much more somber with more complex melodies and lyrics. "Meadowlark" showcases an amazing organ part with incredible harmonies strewn perfectly over it. Finger-picking guitar emerges as the organ and vocal harmonies fade into Pecknold crooning about Humming Birds and the mythical Meadowlark. "Blue Ridge Mountains" continues this trend at first, but seemingly out of nowhere turns into a rock ballad with an amazing chorus and piano melody. "Oliver James" closes out the album with a heart-wrenching track about a young boy drowning and his mother's resulting despair. Pecknold's lyrics are at his best in this song, even the second verse:

On the kitchen table that your grandfather did make
You and your delicate way will slowly clean his face
And you will remember when you rehearsed the actions of
A innocent and anxious mother full of anxious love


I almost miss young Oliver James and I feel deep sorrow for his mother. How a band so young can convey such emotion in a song is incredible in itself, yet they do it with their own originality and uniqueness. In conclusion, this album is a must-have for any Alt/Indie listener, or pretty much anyone. The music is very accessible yet still very deep and original. Get used to Fleet Foxes, because they are going to be around for a long time.


user ratings (1261)
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...

Kevin Jalmax (3.5)
Fleet Foxes tickle your ear-drum with beautiful acoustic melodies and pleasant vocal harmonies with ...

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

plane 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 
Plinkertons
July 19th 2009


179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is my first review on Sputnik, tell me what you think about the Review and the album. Thanks

Shrapnel94
July 19th 2009


2213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good job. Havent listened to the album yet, though.

Plinkertons
July 19th 2009


179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really?

Here is a playlist for it:
http://www.playlist.com/playlist/17218049291

essplode
July 19th 2009


92 Comments


the review reads well but try beefing up the descriptors next time. you make every song sound the same. also try to stay away from first person especially when trying to improve your writing, it undermines a lot of the opinions you make.
album is just not that good though, hype is mind-blowing. i can see the potential but this ain't it.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2009


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Album doesn't live up to the hype, though not much really could. It is very good though.

Plinkertons
July 19th 2009


179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the tips, disagree about the album though. I can't stop listening to it.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
July 19th 2009


3781 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is one of my come down albums

Waior
July 19th 2009


11461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very nice first review, keep it up. This CD is a definite favorite of mine.

burnafterbreeding
July 19th 2009


1467 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this review > mine

shindip
July 19th 2009


3536 Comments


Good review. I think Ill get this now.

Waior
July 19th 2009


11461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album Rating: 3
I think Ill get this now.


What?

shindip
July 19th 2009


3536 Comments


lol thought it was the ep

Youwithoutme
July 19th 2009


301 Comments


I've heard really good things about this but I heard them from Pitchfork but with this review I'll check them out.

Gyromania
July 19th 2009


16089 Comments


Only ever heard White Winter Hymnal... not sure if I should look more into this.

kitsch
July 19th 2009


5107 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

and turn the white snow red as strawberries in the summertime.

i was in my sisters car today and she was listening to that song.

davidlally1888
July 20th 2009


1 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think this album is brilliant, but i personally prefer bon iver. When listening to this i find it hard not to compare the two and, i believe For Emma Forever Ago eclipses this, but regardless this is a great debut

STOP SHOUTING!
July 22nd 2009


639 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This should be a good album, it just lacks somehow.



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