Album of the Week: Fleet Foxes, 'Crack-Up'

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Fleet Foxes, 'Crack-Up'
Fleet Foxes, 'Crack-Up' (Nonesuch Records)
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Bill DeVille - Album of the Week: Fleet Foxes, 'Crack-Up'
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It's been six years since we heard from Fleet Foxes. The beloved Seattle folk-rockers who emerged in 2008 have been mothballed since their leader Robin Pecknold decided to return to college.

Earlier in the year, Twin Cities fans showed their love for Fleet Foxes by snapping up tickets so fast for the Sept. 30 Palace Theatre show that the band added another one on Oct. 1. It appears to be a very welcome return for Fleet Foxes.

Fleet Foxes just released their long awaited, much anticipated third album, Crack-Up. It's their most ambitious album to date. Pecknold lets it be known from the get-go that he wants to challenge his fans, as evidenced in the three-part opener, "I Am All That I Need / Arroyo Seco / Thumbprint Scar," which clocks in at just over six minutes. Pecknold begins the tune poetically chanting, "I am all that I need / and I'll be till I'm through"; moments later, the song kicks in, in a kind of a familiar Fleet Foxes fashion, yet you immediately know this isn't just another Fleet Foxes album.

Robin Pecknold shows he didn't simply tune out during the band's hiatus. He shows that he too is affected by what been going on here in America. "Cassius" seems inspired by both the late Muhammad Ali and by the recent shootings of young black men.

There are a few new twists on Crack-Up. Pecknold told Song Exploder that on "Mearcstapa," he wanted the song to feel "like a Beach Boys song with a Can song being played on top of it." This tune works quite well.

The beauty of Fleet Foxes' harmonies has always been their calling card. You hear them in all their splendor on tracks like "Third of May / Odaigahara," which is one of the most immediate and radio-friendly tunes on this sometimes challenging album. This one might be a tribute to band member Skyler Skjelset, whose birthday is on May 3.

The sound of Crack-Up is almost meditative. It's calming, peaceful and pastoral. It's not a good-time summer record. But hey — you don't expect that from Fleet Foxes. Have a little patience with this one, give it a few spins, and you may get the big payoff. Crack-Up is like an abstract painting. Every time you look at it (or in this case, listen to it) it reveals more.

Resources


Fleet Foxes - Official Site

Resources


Use this form to enter The Current's Fleet Foxes vinyl giveaway between 7 a.m. CDT on Monday, July 10 and 11:59 p.m. CDT on Sunday, July 16, 2017.


One (1) winner will receive 'Crack-Up' on vinyl and a Crosley Traveler turntable. Three (3) back up names will be drawn.


Prize retail value: $125


We will contact the winner on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. Winner must accept by 10 a.m. CT on Friday, July 21, 2017.

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This giveaway is subject to Minnesota Public Radio's 2017 Official Giveaway Rules.

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  • Album Review: Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues To me, Fleet Foxes are welcome visitors from a musically benevolent dimension, from a time when rock and folk and country and pot and hallucinogens and love and the wonders of the multi-track recording studio were coming together in a spirit of innocent and earnest exploration and expression.

1 Photos

  • Crosley Turntable and Fleet Foxes
    Fleet Foxes 'Crack-Up' and Crosley 'Traveler' turntable (MPR Photo)

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