Sunday, October 5, 2008

ALBUM: For Emma, Forever Ago

I finally did it. I went out and I bought Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago. Why did I wait so long? (it was officially released way back in February) - I really don't know. I've had Skinny Love on my iPod for several months now and loved it, but for some reason I just never went out and listened to the whole album. Maybe it's because of all the blog-buzz they were getting earlier in the year, or maybe it's just because Pitchfork liked it so much - who knows.

Well whatever the reason, I still hadn't listened to the whole thing last week when I got onto Daytrotter and downloaded their 4-song set from last July (check it out here), and immediately I started to re-think my ways. I went out and purchased the cd for myself just a few days ago, and it's pretty well floored me.

Recorded almost exclusively by Justin Vernon during his solitary stay in a remote Wisconsin cabin following several trying months (involving a breakup with his girlfriend and his band, and a bit of illness) - the record plays like you're reading several of his diary entries. The music is minimalist and the lyrics are often profoundly poetic - creating layers of possible meaning and personal interpretation. I've been moved by the moment in time that's been captured on these 9 tracks - a moment that is both intensely personal in its recollections and experiences, but totally universal in its isolation and ultimate catharsis. That is where I think For Emma, Forever Ago stands as an example of the power that music has to tie us together through shared experience. Does that sound a little over-the-top? It might be. I only mean that i find music to be a powerful way to express and understand the human experience more fully - and in that way, I feel, these achingly beautiful songs have given me a little more insight.

from the album For Emma, Forever Ago (Amazon/iTunes)


Jane said...

I haven't commented on your blog yet, but I've been a frequent "looker" for some time now.
I couldn't resist on adding my two cents to this Bon Iver post. I've followed him since the release of this album and saw him in L.A. during the winter. He blows me away.
A few of the best choices I've made in album purchases this year have been Yeasayer, Bon Iver, Sigur Ros, and The Republic Tigers.
I enjoy your blog, Thanks for keeping a music lover like me informed.

Parker said...

Wow. I really enjoyed Skinny Love by Bon Iver. I will have to check into him now that he has officially made it on "the blog"

Good Stuff!!! Keep it coming!