Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues
While Fleet Foxes have already made a name for themselves on the music scene (whatever that means), their second album immediately struck me, because it’s called Helplessness Blues. That name alone made me curious about what this album would sound like. Something between the mentality of early Nine Inch Nails (back when they were darker) mixed with B.B. King? That’d be right up my alley. In fact, why hasn’t a band like that existed yet? I know all blues in some way has that helplessness quality to it, but why not take it one step further and really have those lyrics of feeling lost and just like you cannot be saved?
The first thing I realized upon listening to Helplessness Blues, however, is that it isn’t anything really like what I thought it would be. Granted, if you’ve listened to Fleet Foxes before, you would know what to expect, and that my thoughts based on title alone were all just hopes dashed. Soft, almost ballad-sounding folk-rock mixed with the indie side of things. I kind of like to think of this as sounding like what it would sound like if Radiohead ever made a folk album. (Though they might have, I don’t know. I stopped listening to Radiohead years ago.)
As far as the lyrical content goes, a lot of these songs are simply love songs. Having been married for nearly eight years, I can’t really relate to what seems to be the ideals of someone still in high school. Perhaps a more accurate title for this album would have been “Heartbreak Blues,” but I suppose that might have already been taken.
So even though this isn’t a particularly bad album, it just simply isn’t what I expected/hoped it would be. Though as far as history goes, it’s pretty much what I should have expected, if that makes sense.
(Feature photo by Sean Pecknold.)