On Helplessness Blues, Fleet Foxes improve just about everything that they were doing on their last album. Keep in mind the key word here is "improve," not change. Yes, the band is still walking down the same path they were on their previous LP, but they're much further down the road, and they've got a different story to tell. The songs on this album are extremely romantic, and not just in the sense that two lovers are romantic with one another. This album is unbelievably in love with everything around it. It finds great beauty in the world at large, and it's led to captivating melodies and poetic lyrics that tip a hat to songwriting greats like Paul Simon.
The instrumentation could come off kind of busy and overbearing for a first-time listener, but the water's feels fine after the initial shock. This thing is beautifully produced from my point of view. More detail gets pulled out of of this thing with each listen--lyrically and sonically.
This is one that I'll be visiting again and again throughout the year.