widg‧et /ˈwɪdʒɪt/ [wij-it] -noun: Pointless ramblings from the New Forest. Obviously complete & utter Rubbish. Why must I contibute to all this endless talk about me? My self-indulgent knees, spilling themselves all over the internet. Obviously i am Jon and his hair, I AM HIM!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Countdown to Ecstasy! (three)

Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes

Ever since the Kings of Leon felt the power of Gilette's ever-multiplying blades of smoothness, there's been a Fleet Foxes sized gap in the balding world of popular music. Now they have arrived in all their hirsute wonder, sporting a look previously favoured by boy band members desperate to look grown up, their shaving hands busy clinging on to their fading careers. These foxy creatures, however, have no such worries, living in their woozy utopia where a hairdo is not a means to an end.

The mood is set with opener, 'Sun It Rises', with some squirrel-based, close harmony a capella; followed by a rolling, drone soaked tune with folky guitar figures & old, echoing drums; all finished off by more, this time sun-based, close harmony a capella. On that note, I've heard some criticism doing the rounds that the vocals are a bit tatty in quality and too high in the mix, exposing the fact that the harmonies are a little off. Well, I'd rather have an honest, homey, heartfelt & earthy record, with nothing more than a touch of trusty reverb, than something that's been polished, vocodered and pro-tooled to death in an effort to chase futile 'perfection'.

This collection of pastoral hymns and, in the bands own words, "baroque harmonic pop jams" are filled with a cinematic beauty that straddles history like a giant, musical midget. Medieval madrigals, nursery rhymes, appalachian ballads, sixties surf, seventies prog & folk-rock, AM country, noughties indie & americana; all these 'so naff they're trendy' (& probably made-up) influences are present and correct, but they don't tell the whole story. Rather than evoke a feeling of the past, there's more of a sense of timelessness here; these uncomplicated, yet deftly structured songs are not so much of a different time, but of a different place. As the liner notes suggest, "I can listen to music and instantly be anywhere that song is trying to take me." A mythical land where the sun shines, the snow falls, where it's winter, spring & summer, morning & evening, past & present all at once. This truly is an album for all seasons, for all times. A modern classic.



Blogger AlphIANo said...

Ooh, nice! I honestly haven't heard this enough to know it well. You played it a couple of times at work, and I remember really liking what I heard. It must've slipped through my crack when too much other stuff came out.

I want to listen to it now!


11:44 pm


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