For Emma, Forever Ago
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|6. Creature Fear|
|8. For Emma|
|9. RE: Stacks|
Pronounced "bohn eevair; French for "good winter" and spelled wrong deliberately. This debut is centered around a particular aesthetic; Justin Vernon, the primary force behind Bon Iver, moved to a remote cabin in the woods of Northwestern Wisconsin at the onset of winter, alone for three months. This solitary time fed a bold, uninhibited new musical focus. All his personal trouble, lack of perspective, heartache, longing, love, loss, and guilt that had been stockpiled over the past six years was suddenly purged into song. The NY Times called this record "irresistible", and it was given a "Recommeded" rating by Pitchfork. RIYL: Iron & Wine, M. Ward, and Elliott Smith.
Bon Ivers hermit indie-folk (story goes Justin Vernon recorded the album on his own during time spent secluded in the woods) delivers the kind of spare intimacy that only a home-recorded solo album can. For Emma, Forever Ago sounds a bit desolate, admittedly lonely, an enigmatic one-way communication. But, its awfully beautiful. Vernons disarming falsetto which sounds like Christopher Cross crossed with Antony Hegarty, oddball tape loops, distorted synthesizers, and nods to modern R&B (Blindsided) create nuance in otherwise straightforward songs. Creature Fear showcases Vernons imaginative songwriting--take the robust chorus that boldly appears seemingly out of nowhere and later, For Emma swells bolstered by a soaring slide-guitar, recalling the best of Calexico. To my ears, Bon Ivers music is nearly an homage to great 70s AM-radio singer-songwriter staples like Seals & Crofts or America, just without the promise of ever whiling away a carefree afternoon driving a sun-drenched highway or sailing off into the sunset. --Gabi Knight
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Top Customer Reviews
We all know the story; Justin Vernon, who just so happens to have the ethereal, silvery voice of an angel, gets dumped by his girlfriend (maybe the craziest woman alive?) and faced other hardships like the breaking-up of his current band and a case of mononucleosis, retreats to a cabin in Wisconsin, and records this record. The story is enchanting, the record is even more so.
I can't quite put into words how real and raw this record is; it's not only vocally haunting but lyrically jaw-dropping and the songs are mellow and difficult and reflect the ultimate solitary consciousness. With his whispery crooning, Vernon manages to touch even the darkest of souls and demonstrates both himself, and exactly how it feels to be in a season of personal hardships. While some believe it is a myth that suffering breeds great art, in this case, it DEFINITELY did.
I can't recommend this album enough; it is cerebral and emotional and packed with sparse raw emotion, blood, sweat and tears. After you listen to this record, love and breakups will never be the same for you again.
My favorite tracks are Flume (great vocals & guitar work),Skinny Love(outstanding songwriting),The Wolves (harmonies,musical composition & vocals...wow),Blindsided(nice instrumentation, beautiful simplistic vocals..so relaxing),Re:Stacks (nice acoustical work),Creature Fear(great opening harmonies).
My least favorite tracks (that's if your being picky) are For Emma (didn't like the repetitive guitar work in the intro;loved the songwriting though) & Lump Sum ( some nice harmonies though..sounds angelic).
He has made me curious enough to now check out his other CD's...check this CD out it's great!
My only significant criticism - too brief. (but that enhances the potency of what is offered)
The songs are great, i love this album. But my vinyl copy is useless.
Most recent customer reviews
Quick delivery. I love this CD and play it over and over when I paintPublished 11 months ago by madeleine norman
I ordered this because it was vinyl but it WASN'T. It was just a CD. How do I get my Money back?Published 22 months ago by Natasha Visosky
if it weren't for the love I have for this mans music, I probably wouldn't have given this record 4 stars, however if the record would have played exactly the way I had... Read morePublished on June 22 2013 by Riley Friesen