I have an inkling that this album, ‘Crack Up’, could be a work of pure genius
I have an inkling that this album, ‘Crack Up’, could be a work of pure genius. It is so complex and layered but still rhythmic and beautifully calm. I absolutely loved ‘Helplessness Blues’ and so I have been looking forward to this record for a good few months.
There has been a lot going on with the Fleet Foxes recently. Robin Pecknold, lead singer and inspirational force, has moved to New York City from Seattle and has enrolled at Columbia University, birthplace of Vampire Weekend, to study English. Josh Tillman, leading light, left and became Father John Misty. And now a third album has emerged with an unparalleled intensity that demands time and attention.
There is no track particularly suited to single release, several are long, ‘Third of May / Ōdaigahara’ is eight and a half minutes. So this album is a proper album, long and rangy, a Dark Side of the Moon type moment for the Fleet Foxes. Lyrically, the album is mysterious. There are many oblique references to literary figures, Mearcstapa, for example is a reference to the English Epic poem Beowolf. Cassius too is reference to Julias Ceaser’s killer, or it could be Cassius Clay in Kinshasa (I should see Memphis). Whatever, it is lovely to wander through this album , hearing more and more with each listen. I am minded to think of ‘Lost in a Dream‘ by The War on Drugs’, which I knew instinctively was wonderful but I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time. And that record is without doubt one of my favourite albums of the last four or five years. ‘Crack Up’ is up there too, the harmonies carefully built on West Coast influences and ocean spray.
In short a wonderful album of very high production value, beautiful packaging and soaring beauty. In fact the more I listen to it, the more I know my inkling of genius is well founded.
Crack Up – Track Ratings
I Am All That I Need / Arroyo Seco / Thumbprint Scar *****
Naiads, Cassadies ***
Kept Woman ***
Third of May / Ōdaigahara *****
If You Need To, Keep Time on Me ****
On Another Ocean (January / June) ***
Fool’s Errand ****
I Should See Memphis ****
My Rating – 3.6
Album – Crack Up
Artist – Fleet Foxes
Tracks – 11
Time – 55′
Download These At Least – Third of May / Ōdaigahara, If You Need To, Keep Time on Me, or the whole thing to be honest
Source – Vinyl
Player – Michell GyroDec
Amplification/Output – Naim NAC-N 272/KEF R700
Album Released – 16th June 2017