album review - shore by fleet foxes
Fleet Foxes return with an album that could use to take more risks and to implement more sonic and tonal contrast; however, conceptual and lyrical breakthroughs make it well worth a listener's while.
TL;DR: Favorite track: "I'm Not My Season" Least favorite track: "Going-to-the-Sun Road"
"Wading in Waist-High Water"
This song is pretty, although it mainly only works if you're in a certain mood. It does leave me wondering what else is to come on the record. Favorite lyrics: “We’re finally aligning/more than maybe I can choose.” Uwade Akhere’s vocals sound great!
I think the sentiment of remembering friends is heartwarming, and it makes it more interesting that supposedly these are all the people who have mainly influenced this album. So I like the whole idea of it being a tribute. However, I have to say that this endless list of ‘male greats’ with no females named kind of reinforces the ‘music is a boys’ club’ idea. They haven’t taken inspiration from a single female in music’s history? Just something to note.
"Can I Believe You"
This is my favorite song on the album so far! Best lyrics so far, best melody; most memorable, unique, and cohesive over all. Favorite lyrics: “When I’m one way with them, one way with you/What half is it of me rearranged?” However, I will say it is a little ‘safe' for my taste.
This song is meant to be mainly about coronavirus and also to tribute a Chilean folk singer, Victor Jara. I don’t think this song really got that across properly, especially with regard to the coronavirus idea. I am starting to feel like the tracks on this album are all sort of in the same ‘tone,’ and I think it could use a little more contrast.
This song completely won me over. This is by far the best song on the album so far. I love the theme of how he has never really realized how lucky he is and ‘stages life as a battleground,’ AKA imagines all these problems in his life where there aren’t really problems. Favorite lyrics are hard to choose in this song honestly, everything is on point from the lyrics to the instrumentation. The entire poem of the lyrics as a whole is great.
"A Long Way Past the Past"
Liked this one as well. I love the theme of him questioning whether he holds onto the past that much, and the story of the sort of discussions that causes in the referenced relationship. The last line is interesting too, “I’ll be better off in a year or two.” He’s holding onto the past, and he’s also holding onto the future. When will he live in the present? The wish and the struggle and the journey to do so is very relatable.
"For A Week or Two"
Nice song if you’re going backpacking or on some other sort of nature-y trip! A very calming song.
Song that captivates the current corona times. Favorite lyrics: “Sunday end/Ache for the sight of friends/Though I’ve been safe in the thought/That the line we walk/Is the same one.”
"Young Man’s Game"
This song has a nice full sound to it. I think the concept is interesting too—kind of questioning the idea of youth being this ideal time where people are perfect.
"I’m Not My Season"
Okay, this might actually be my favorite song on the album now. I really like the idea that you’re not your disorder, or your addiction, or your problems, or whatever you’re going through—there’s more to you than that. Not to mention the song is just very pretty.
This song is kind of cool. Apparently it’s largely about climate change. The end is pretty creepy, in a good way! One of the most emotionally moving songs on the album. But honestly, it’s a little too scary for me! (That’s a compliment to them—it’s definitely moving!).
This song is rather lackluster. It is so similar in tone to everything else on the album with nothing to make it pop out, so it just kind of seems like filler or something.
I like this song a lot. It’s about his loving relationship with music and how, in his words, “Even though it’s ephemeral, it’s the most solid thing I have.” Relatable.
"Cradling Mother, Cradling Woman"
I actually think that as far as song structure and production and sampling, this is probably the least ‘safe’ and most ‘risky’ song on the album (aside from possibly Quiet Air/Gioia), which is something I appreciate. Once again it’s mainly about his love for music, and that’s also something I appreciate.
The little bridge thing has a very interesting layered sound. The topic is interesting too, seeing the shore as a safe place; the song “questions whether you’re really at the boundary between danger and safety when you’re there” and draws inspiration from a surfing accident Robin Pecknold had in which he thought he might drown and was so happy to make it back to shore. A really nice way to end the album.