Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fleet Foxes

Well I finally pulled the trigger and bought Fleet Foxes. The massive critical hype made me instantly nervous, as I have been burned more than once (TV On The Radio's "Return From Cookie Mountain" was touted as "the album of a generation", and I thought it overblown and pretentious) by the Pitchforians and their ilk.
But hey, I had $10 burning a hole in my pocket so I did it.
Here's what some of the critics had to say about it when it was released in June of this year:
From Delusions Of Adequacy: "With their self-titled debut, Fleet Foxes have attained this and have delivered one of the best albums of the year."
From The Guardian: "It all adds up to a landmark in American music, an instant classic."
From MOJO: "The sense of wonder in Fleet Foxes' songs is matched only by the discipline and talent that created this adventurous, evocative record. One which is already shaping up as an album of the year."
From Dot Music: "Ironically, though defined sartorially and sonically by this short window in history, the songs on their debut album are mostly timeless. Few better will be released in 2008."
From The Austin Chronicle: "A number of contemporary indie bands attempts to strip-mine mountain ballads in the service of indie pop, but none has melded the impulses as effortlessly and captivatingly as Fleet Foxes manage on "Blue Ridge Mountains" and "Oliver James." Sublime."

...and the list goes on...and on...and on. Even some of you reading this have touted the magnificance and significance of this album on your music blogs.
I've listened to it only a couple of times and I think I really dig it! A great late night album, for sure, with excellent harmonies and great musicianship. But it's the melodies that keep me interested, something that is sorely lacking with many of today's bands. Not bubblegum teeny-bopper type melodies, but strong ones that help define the song, give it heft. It's telling that the list of people they thank in the liner notes include Bob Dylan, The Band, Brian Wilson, John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Charles Mingus, Harry Nillson, Marvin Gaye, Arthur Lee and Townes Van Zandt. They are students of music, but good music, and even though their influences betray them somewhat I find solace in the fact that they coul have picked worse.
I don't have the history with this album yet to give it a song by song review; they're many great sites that do a much better job at that sort of thing than I. Is it a great album? I think so, but will it top my "best of list" this year? I don't think so. So far it's been tough to beat Nick Cave's Dig Lazarus Dig!, but you never know. Excellent albums have a way of sneaking up on you. Stay tuned...


GE said...

It's about freakin' time! I kid, E. Enjoy.

Nik said...

I keep *thinking* about getting this one but I have to admit the smooth harmony CSN/Byrds style of music isn't my favorite. But I have liked what I've heard so far, and they have a cool name, always important when picking bands to follow.