Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes

I have a rule of thumb that I listen to any new album at least four times before writing a review (or, prior to having this blog, before I formed a definite opinion of it in my mind). I’m not one of those people who can hear a song or an album and know instantly how I feel about it. I know if I like the sound or not, but I don’t know if it will be something I’ll know and love until I’ve lived with it for awhile.

But sometimes I can’t make it to four listens. And that’s the case with the eponymous debut CD by a much-hyped group called Fleet Foxes.

I first heard about this group on a blog I really like called Tuesday Morning 3 a.m. I see eye to eye with that blogger about 90% of the time, on both music and the occasional TV show or movie he writes about. His top ten album lists often share several titles in common with mine, he’s a huge fan of Ben Folds and Belle and Sebastian, he has Aimee Mann’s latest album at #2 on his 2008 list.

And at #1 on that list is Fleet Foxes, a band and an album that he really loves. I’ve read equally lavish praise across the Web, so picking it up was a no-brainer.

I have to admit I feel a bit weird when I don’t “get” something everybody is raving about. I wonder if it’s just taking longer than usual to grow on me… maybe I’m doing something wrong? But no, eventually I come around to different strokes for different folks.

This album is pleasant enough… it’s sort of like The Beach Boys blended with an Appalachian jug band. But it’s a whole lot of music without a lot of words, and the music just isn’t that interesting. It’s been a struggle for me to get through the whole album twice, and rather than go for the requisite four listens, I’ve decided to call it quits. Maybe I’ll discover it again years from now and wonder what the hell I was thinking, but I’ll worry about that then.

The good thing, and this goes back to my CDs vs. iTunes debate, is that I can sell this CD on Amazon and make back seven or eight of the $11 I paid for it, and I still have the whole album in my iTunes library. So the difference between me and the sucker who bought this on iTunes is I wind up paying $3 to his $9.99.

3 thoughts on “Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes

  1. Amy says:

    But the difference between that sucker and you is that she would be able to listen to the tunes before choosing to purchase the album in the first place. So, if one tune after another demonstrated the artist’s penchant for an Applachian jug band (which, I have to admit, has intrigued me enough to go check this album out), then said sucker could decide not to shell out the ten bucks in the first place. So I guess she’s 3 dollars richer than you are 😛

    I am very pleased to see you own up to your desire/need to “get” what is being highly touted by others, though I’m once again humbled by the fact that I’ve never even heard of this band before reading your blog entry. At least you know what you’re supposed to be finding hip 🙂

    Finally, as I mentioned before, I’m interested enough by the observations you’ve made of this album in your negative review to find our if I’m more able to “get it” than you are. If I do, you can bet I’ll write a blog about it 🙂 Stay tuned.

  2. Clay says:

    Ah, but I did listen to the 30-second clips on iTunes before buying it, and was intrigued enough to wonder what I’d find on the other 40 minutes of the album. I feel like the 30-second window usually isn’t enough to really “get” something.

    Perhaps iTunes should let you listen to any song in its entirety one time and then limit you to 30-seconds. But I guess people would just copy the song the first time they heard it.

  3. Amy says:

    Hmmm. I guess I’ll just have to copy it from you in that case.

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