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THE VT » Blog Archive » Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago


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It was hard to understand this album. All reviews mention that he (Justin Vernon) broke up with his band and with his girlfriend, and decided to go live in the mountains by himself for about four months and apparently all he did was hunt deers and create this album. Yes, it reminds everyone of that book Walden (which is basically the same idea minus the band and the girlfriend and with more leftist politics if y memory doesn-t fail me). The story behind the album helps the listener understand the contrast between the quiet music (his voice, his guitar and some drums and trumpets here and there that were recorded after) and the lyrics full of rage, sadness and disappointment (perfect combination). I-ll show you the best tracks, then I-ll write a quick summary of my favourite albums so far.

Skinny Love

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHyo33XLP24

Very violent and sad. The guitar sounds very aloof when compared with how full of despair his voice sounds (especially in the Jools Holland youtube video). Read this:

(…)Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer

I tell my love to wreck it all / Cut out all the ropes and let me fall / My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my / Right in the moment this order’s tall

I told you to be patient / I told you to be fine / I told you to be balanced / I told you to be kind / Now all your love is wasted? / Then who the hell was I? / Now I’m breaking at the britches / And at the end of all your lines

For Emma

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJIZNbkiy40

I had no idea what this song was really about until I looked at the lyrics in the booklet. It now reminds me of the part in the movie Persepolis where the main character realises the man with whom she just broke up wasn´t that amazing after all. It´s about two people who find their relationship isn-t really working, so they decide to end it. Ignore the amateur bycicle youtube video and concentrate on the music. I love how the added trumpet complements the rest of the song, and I also love this bit (which is basically 3/4 of the song haha):

Narrator:(So apropos: Saw death on a sunny snow)

Him: “For every life…” Her: “Forgo the parable.”

Him: “Seek the light.” Her: “…My knees are cold.”

(Running home, running home, running home, running home…)

As I said, understanding this album is no easy task, but if you have the time and patience you will find how perfectly it all comes together. I-m not madly in love with the album (even though it ticks all the boxes in my requirements), but i do respect and admire his work.

Anyway, my candidates for album of the year so far:

MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
Great. I read somewhere that it-s like a student project that somehow turned out great, and I couldn-t agree more. (kids and electric feel are my favourites).

Santogold - Santogold
I believe in Santogold. With diplo and switch as contributors this album just had to be good. I was expecting more MIA, but it was a pleasant surprise that it turned out to be more pixies, tegan & sara and a bit yeah yeah yeahs. I don-t like how all reviews mention she-s worked for Lilly allen and Ashlee Simpson, I think they should let her shine on her own, for she-s got the talent to do so. ( lights out, i-m a lady, say aha and l.e.s. artistes are good, the rest need some work in my opinion).

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
ba ba ba

Devotchka - A Mad and Faithful Telling
Ah great. I LOVE the violin. (get clockwise witness, transliterator, undone and blessing in disguise).

Disappointments so far:

Magnetic Fields - Distortion
Ugh, not as great as I wanted it to be. I think my expectations were too high. (I like too drunk to dream and this other song about a playboy nun or something like that).

The Islands - Arm-s Way
Myeh, I knew they couldn-t top the greatness of their first album, nothing beats ¨sswwwaaaaansss!!¨ nor rough gem. (I think creeper is the only good song)

The Shortwave Set - Replica Sun Machine
It-s a good album, but when I listened to their previous album (the debt collector) I realised this is nothing compared to it. Get the debt collector from their website for free and listen to is it any wonder and to better than bad, they-re brilliant.

Thanks for reading, God bless.

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