What The Hell Did I Just Listen To?!
Fleet Foxes has always been a band I’ve battled with. I think they sound wonderful in a live setting, but with studio albums everything was just drowned in reverb and kind of unpleasant. So, I decided to take a chance with their latest album Crack-Up to see if my opinions would be swayed. I was left speechless…well, almost speechless!
Once the three part opening track “I Am All That I Need/Arrayo Seco/Thumbprint Scar” started with what sounded like a tape recording starting up, my attention was grabbed. After the acoustic intro was soon followed by mumbled lyrics sounding like the idea for a demo, I started to really pay attention. However, when the band abruptly comes in, you better hold onto your seats because the ride is not about to stop any time soon.
Each song built a new musical society on top of the other. There was no going back to revisit anything or sticking with a certain formula. That’s evident in an album with speeded soundscapes turning into jazz odyssey’s and detuned auto-harps starting off piano ballads. The only possible thing I can even think of relating this record to is if Simon and Garfunkel met/recorded Quadrophenia. It’s so expertly experimental that I cannot possibly fathom how any song can get radio airplay without ruining the whole atmosphere of the album. I mean, “Third of May / Ōdaigahara” takes on a whole new life when mixed within the album.
The song “Kept Woman” was a definite stand out being almost reminiscent of the same haunting feeling of The Who‘s “Love Reign O’er Me“. The only track that I thought was meh had to be “_ Naiads, Cassadies” and even that was brilliant!
I know the review sounds all across the board “THIS ALBUM WAS GREAT OH MY GOD!!!!!” but it is truly great! There’s not one song that sounded like it was thrown in or lazily written. From beginning to end, it shows a singular steady idea of what this album was to be…limitless.
For a group I’ve struggled to love since their debut album, I am now hooked! I would recommend this album to anyone young or old. To revisit the days when a whole album was meant to be an experince, you will love this. To the people who are looking for a musical journey, you will love this. To anyone that just wants to listen to a great album, you will love this! Thank you Fleet Foxes for breaking down the boundaries of what modern music can be again and I cannot wait to hear what comes next!