Music Review: Fleet Foxes return with Crack-Up, but get lost in the mix

It’s been six years since Fleet Foxes’ last record, and in the meantime, frontman Robin Pecknold has been up to plenty. First he marched straight into the world of academia, enrolling at Columbia University before taking a step back, trading college for cabins. He took a 12-week woodworking course. He practiced both traditional craftsmanship and musical craftsmanship. He confronted the anxieties that overwhelmed him as the result of the band’s 2011 Grammy nominations and nonstop critical praise. All of that should act as natural fodder for a new album, a chance for Pecknold to work through some tough personal episodes and those overwhelming reflections on his self-worth, ideally leaving him in a better place upon finishing it. It should, but somehow it doesn’t.

Pecknold’s experiences make for fine interview fodder, but when funneled into an album—as they are on Fleet Foxes’ third album, Crack-Up—they …

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