Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes

4.3 31
by Fleet Foxes
     
 

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Borrowing from ageless folk and classic rock (and nicking some of the best bits from prog and soft rock along the way), on their self-titled debut album Fleet Foxes don't just master the art of taking familiar influences and making them sound fresh again, they give a striking sense of who they are and what their world is like. Their song titles reference the Blue

Overview

Borrowing from ageless folk and classic rock (and nicking some of the best bits from prog and soft rock along the way), on their self-titled debut album Fleet Foxes don't just master the art of taking familiar influences and making them sound fresh again, they give a striking sense of who they are and what their world is like. Their song titles reference the Blue Ridge Mountains -- never mind that they're actually from Seattle -- but it's the ease and skill with which they mix and match British and American folk and rock from the far and not too distant past that makes the band's music so refreshing. While this mix could be contrived or indulgent, Fleet Foxes use restraint, structuring their flourishes into three- and four-minute pop songs full of chiming melodies and harmonies that sound like they've been summoned from centuries of traditional songs and are full of vivid, universal imagery: mountains, birds, family, death. Despite drawing from so many sources, there's a striking purity to Fleet Foxes' sound. Robin Pecknold's voice is warm and sweet, with just enough grit to make phrases like "premonition of my death" sound genuine, and the band's harmonies sound natural, and stunning, whether they're on their own or supported by acoustic guitars or the full, plugged-in band. "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" and "Meadowlarks" show just how much the Foxes do with the simplest elements of their music, but Fleet Foxes' best songs marry that purity with twists that open their sound much wider. As good as the Sun Giant EP was, Fleet Foxes saved many of their best songs for this album. "White Winter Hymnal" is remarkably beautiful, building from a vocal round into glorious jangle pop with big, booming drums that lend a sense of adventure as the spine-tingling melody lightens some of the lyrics' darkness ("Michael you would fall and turn the white snow red as strawberries in summertime"). The suite-like "Ragged Wood" moves from a galloping beat to sparkling acoustic picking, then takes a trippy detour before returning to a more thoughtful version of its main theme. "Quiet Houses" and "He Doesn't Know Why"'s driving pianos show off the band's flair for drama. Dazzling songs like these are surrounded by a few songs that find the band leaning a little more heavily on its influences. "Your Protector" nods to Zeppelin's misty, mournful side, and "Blue Ridge Mountains" is the kind of earthy yet sophisticated song CSNY would have been proud to call their own. But, even when the songs aren't as brilliant as Fleet Foxes' highlights, the band still sounds alluring, as on the lush interlude "Heard Them Stirring." Throughout the album, the band sounds wise beyond its years, so it's not really that surprising that Fleet Foxes is such a satisfying, self-assured debut.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/03/2008
Label:
Sub Pop
UPC:
0098787077711
catalogNumber:
70777
Rank:
152

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Fleet Foxes 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
MusicManJim More than 1 year ago
Vinyl format (1 LP, 1 EP, gatefold jacket, poly inner record sleeves). Included with this self-titled album is the Sun Giant EP.  LP Track Listing: Side A Sun It Rises White Winter Hymnal Ragged Wood Tiger Mountain Peasant Song Quiet Houses He Doesn’t Know Why Side B Heard Them Stirring Your Protector Meadowlarks Blue Ridge Mountains Oliver James EP Track Listing: Side A Sun Giant Drops In the River English House Side B Mykonos Innocent Son I first got Fleet Foxes in digital format when it came out in 2008. I play it regularly every winter. It is such a fitting soundtrack to snow and cold in Michigan. This is one of the first albums that made me regret no longer having a turntable. My first listen of this album reminded me of the warmth of listening to vinyl. When I finally got a new turntable this year, I knew I was going to pick up this album on vinyl. I always thought the album cover art for Fleet Foxes was interesting, but one does not really get to enjoy cover art that much in digital format. I really like it now that I have the full sized album cover. The records are in quality poly inner record sleeves, which is always a plus to me. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Add a bottle of wine and it is one of my favorites to listen to while I'm cooking!
Chris19 More than 1 year ago
In a music world where it's incredibly hard to sound original, these guys come along. I absolutely love these guys. I saw them live about a month ago and they're just as good live. They combined simon and garfunkel, the beach boys and crosby stills and nash. Better yet they have creatively mixed it to where it's their own sound.
Tom1234 More than 1 year ago
This is by far one of the BEST cd's of 2008. The music is hauting and the lyrics are catchy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is certainly one of my favorite albums to come out of 2008. These guys create a sounds very similar to the artists of the 60s and 70s, smooth-folky rock. Unlike some of their fellow, modern peers the Fleet Foxes manage to pull it off. They create stunning harmonies, intriguing lyrics, beautiful songs...an all around incredible album. I know of NO other contemporary artist to compare them to...none of equal talent.
Satchema More than 1 year ago
I was weary of this group at first because they seemed a little old school with "White Winter Hymnal" but I listened to the rest of their album and I really enjoyed their harmony and easiness of their music. A very appropriate "chill" album . I also like another song by them not available for sale called "Textbook Love", a little different from this stuff but still good .
cassiebanks More than 1 year ago
I originally ordered this CD because they told me Fleet Foxes sounds like Seals & Crofts. Let me tell you, they sound nothing like Seals & Crofts. I love Seals & Crofts very much and Fleet Foxes did not meet my expectations. However, they are awesome. I really like Fleet Foxes. Their sound is nice. I do not regret buying this CD, and I know I will not get tired of it any time soon. Just don't say they sound like Seals & Crofts. Seals & Crofts is better, but Fleet Foxes is all right in my book.
HungryForAWalk More than 1 year ago
Just in writing this review I am in over my head - yet I can't help but comment on this incredible album. My understanding is that this is Fleet Foxes freshman album which makes the album absolutely remarkable. As a band they exhibit confidence and greatness that is honest and easy. This is not Icarus flying too high on a fledgling flight - over extending. It is natural and appropriately and wonderfully confident and haunting. As you listen to this album - which is at the same time contemporary while deeply reminiscent of some of the best of the 70's rock - you can't helped to be absorbed in it. As you soon find out the album is full of beautifully harmonized vocals that tell story and not simply sentiment. Add to this instrumentation that constantly serves a purpose providing big sound when needed and reverent starkness at times - reminiscent of a that important someone in your past who spoke when there was something of value to say and remained refreshingly quiet when it was time to refrain from words - this alone is a quality in friendships and in music that is all too often lost in our incessantly narcissistic age. Rather than a few singles worth mentioning that encourage a person to i-buy piecemeal, this is truly and album worthy of being an album. Each track gives a worthy hunger for the next. Finally, back to their freshman status - one gets the sense of age and maturity in their music that can hardly be improved upon by mere practice and theatrical longevity in the music making business. Rather, there is something very natural, passionate, deep,elemental,and wonderfully 'old' about their sound. I for one am very hungry for more.
SharanWI More than 1 year ago
I heard the group on SNL or another late show and the music drew me to the TV to actually listen. I'd missed this genre for years, It was refreshing, I just miss the lyrics sheet in the CD.
CrazyJosephineDavolo More than 1 year ago
This CD is great!!!! Being the perfect mom that I am, I brought my sons up on classic rock and, as such, there is no generation gap in familial music. My son got me this CD as a gift because he knew I would love it and he was right. There is a lot going on with this group. They actually remind me a bit of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer with a hint of the old Moody Blues and a dash of Procol Harum!! They are rocky-medievally--eclectic. Nevertheless it all comes together in a wonderful CD. I recommend this--especially to the over-50 crowd if you want to listen to something that will bring you back to your youth!
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