Fleet Foxes have produced a typically intelligent, uncompromising and metamorphosising body of work six years on from their previous LP. In the time that’s elapsed, their former drummer has skyrocketed beyond the band in the public eye in flamboyant fashion, and it’s difficult not to compare Crack-Upwith Father John Misty’s Pure Comedy. Both are impressionably self-indulgent and cynical, lacking immediacy and instead shelving it in favour of complex, mostly compelling songwriting that is introverted in its chronology. With Crack-Up, Robin Pecknold’s songcraft manages to expand on itself without increasing the contiguity, instead relying on tidal fluctuations of density. The tracks are as immersive in their sparse moments as they are in their thickset ones, while the wooded harmonies that typify Fleet Foxes help to hallmark and expand the sound in equal measure. This is – as many expected it would be – hugely accomplished in its composition, and while it’s not short of irritating periods of pretension, it’s par for the course when beauty, indulgence and complexity are key ingredients in the melting pot.
FIRST PUBLISHED ON NO RIPCORD