"Helplessness Blues," by Fleet Foxes, is an impressive record with a rich sound full of harmonies and unusual arrangements of instruments. It is good enough to be disappointed: why does it leave me cold? Perhaps it celebrates its sources too openly, too proudly: a late-60s psychedelic folk sound I associate with Donovan, Fairport Convention, or the Incredible String Band. "Lorelai" even explicitly cites Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde," specifically "Fourth Time Around."
These are all great sources, so this might well grow on me. And the wild saxophone on "The Shrine/An Argument" shatters the sweet sounds with dissonance. In short, a recognizably brilliant album that still falls short of truly moving me, though I'm still hopeful that it will. (Hat tip to DMB.)