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Old 03-29-2011, 11:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago Album Review

It isn’t everyday that an album is released with as little warning as this one, it is however the circumstances of this sudden release that give the album such a wonderful and heart wrenching charm.

Justin Vernon, known for this record as Bon Iver, disappears late autumn following a difficult break up with his long-term girlfriend. Many followers assume the worst whilst family and close friends await his foretold return. Many months later in late spring Bon Iver emerges. Now sporting a lumberjack beard, a mind full of lonely log cabin memories and a disc FULL of beautiful songs that just as well may be entitled ‘How to Deal with Heartbreak, vol. 1’

For Emma, Forever Ago is a nine-track (ten on bonus edition) anthology of inspirational turmoil. Every syllable Vernon utters can be related to by anyone who has undergone a messy break up. His lyrics speak of bewilderment, outrage, denial and towards the, end…hope.

This record has a real sense of continuity; if you listen closely you can trace the path of his recovery. Anger bubbles to the surface towards the end of The Wolves (Act 1 and 2), beneath the beautiful harmonies and rusty acoustic guitars you hear him smashing glasses and throwing chairs. A percussive homage to ‘Emma’s’ departure that leaves you feeling as bitter as Vernon himself.

The album’s flagship track, Skinny Love, serves all the functions of a perfect single. It branches into the mainstream whilst all the charm and individuality of the record as a whole. The phrase ‘come on skinny love, just last the year,’ refers to the dwindling affections of his partner and begs for just a little more time, a message that resurfaces periodically throughout the record.

Nearly all of the tracks approach the failed relationship from a different vantage point, but short of the record sounding like a miserable collection of self-pitying Morrissey spin-offs it manages to generate a sense of listener involvement. If his whispery tones don’t drag you into the fray then the utter honesty of his lyrics will.

Ultimately this album wont leave you in emotional cinders and nor is Vernon moaning or begging for sympathy. It’s a journey the listener takes with Vernon, understanding, digesting and working with one another each step of the way. You will be a better person for hearing this album. It wont change your life, but it may change how you live.

By Luke De-Sciscio
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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To be honest I kind of roll my eyes at the 40 days in the wilderness mythology surrounding this album. Call me a cynic but it seems a little contrived. On the other hand I love the album and am looking forward to hearing more. I just think it stands well enough without prefacing the material with how it was conceived. I guess it's an interesting back story for fans but it seems to be the first thing people write about this great album.
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I haven't been a fan of this, and that is just listening to it as music.
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Awesome album, but I didn't really like that review, no offense dude. I just think it's dumbing it down some to practically call it a breakup album.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bane of your existence View Post
Awesome album, but I didn't really like that review, no offense dude. I just think it's dumbing it down some to practically call it a breakup album.
Yeah. To me this album made me feel much more than just break up. but i'm glad you like it.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Ever since blood bank ep nothing has been going but up for Justin, gayngs, kanye west etc. He's been making nothing but a name for bon iver and don't expect nothing but crazy good reviews on the next album,( as well as probably being way too hyped when it does actually release)
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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one word for this album... classic
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Old 05-20-2011, 02:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Only have Skinny Love from this album. And I like it.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Skinny Love = fantastic. I can listen to that song over and over again.

Rest = not so great. This was the sort of album that would play all the way through if I were doing something else so wasn't giving it the majority of my attention but as soon as I properly started listening to the songs, I'd want to change tracks.

Long story short I love the guy's voice but his music in this album didn't do all hat much for me.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Skinny Love = fantastic. I can listen to that song over and over again.

Rest = not so great. This was the sort of album that would play all the way through if I were doing something else so wasn't giving it the majority of my attention but as soon as I properly started listening to the songs, I'd want to change tracks.

Long story short I love the guy's voice but his music in this album didn't do all hat much for me.
I like the version by Birdy more. The melody flows more and she doesn't have to shout out parts of the song for expression.

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