For Emma, Forever Ago [12 inch Analog]
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : いいえ
- 製品サイズ : 30.99 x 31.39 x 0.61 cm; 278.11 g
- メーカー : Jagjaguwar
- EAN : 0656605211510
- 商品モデル番号 : 29016450
- レーベル : Jagjaguwar
- ASIN : B0011NVCSO
- ディスク枚数 : 1
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 "Recommended" rating by Pitchfork. RIYL: Iron & Wine, M. Ward, and Elliott Smith.
It's hard to believe that For Emma, Forever Ago is the work of one man. But when Justin Vernon's old band split he hauled himself (and presumably plenty of instruments and recording equipment) to his dad's hunting cabin in the woods of Wisconsin for the coldest season and worked through his issues in musical form. (The name comes from the French for "good winter"--"bon hiver"). By the start of the spring thaw he had recorded the bulk of this stunning debut, originally self-issued to acclaim last year in the USA and now picked up for a British release. Vernon's voice grabs the ear from the start, switching easily into a smooth falsetto (and unusually for a white indie lad, without the slightest intent of emulating Prince). The formula is straightforward. He layers his vocal harmonies, while a gently strummed acoustic rhythm guitar just about holds the centre. All else from horns to slide guitar is mere detail. The quality is rough and ready but the effect is strangely similar though to the slick vocal confections of European women like Bjork and Camille, all mystery and distance. It's the musical equivalent of reading someone else's diary. In code. Through a dirty window. Enigmatic songs like the elegantly stumbling "Creature Fear" with its rowdy horn parts, the resolute opener "Flume" and the evanescent "Team" are just so pretty they seem to glide by without leaving a mark in the snow. Vernon is apparently a straightforward and friendly guy, but For Emma, Forever Ago genuinely sounds like something from a far off place. --Steve Jelbert
I bought this originally in 2009, and was deeply unimpressed. It’s dour, grey, miserable. The musical equivalent of the North Pole.
Following in from a short segment in the tv documentary Soundbreaking, in which Bon Iver, featured I thought I blow the dust off.
Well it hasn’t improved. I think that either by accident or design, this album was made to go with that skinny chai latte and ramen noodles that all the hipsters love.
Ask me again in another 10 years.
On a more personal level, this was the first album for me that addressed love and loss in such an oblique manner ('there's a black crow sitting across from me; his wiry legs are crossed / And he's dangling my keys, he even fakes a toss' is only one example of many) so as, counter intuitively, to make it seem more genuine, free from what I perceived to be the clichés of songs about heartbreak. Undoubtably the rich use of metaphor, the true impart of the songs wrapped up tightly in the words and sounds rather than overtly on display was a big part of why I liked it so much. It's a deeper album that rewards careful listening on a quiet Saturday night, and although student me devoured it, it's not a self-indulgent piece of navel-gazing only fit for those inexperienced in love - to assume that would be to miss out on something truly special. It's a beautifully crafted paean to the experience of loss, a timeless part of the universal experience of the human condition.
"There's a black crow sitting across from me; his wiry legs are crossed
And he's dangling my keys he even fakes a toss
Whatever could it be
That has brought me to this loss?"
Quite where Justin Vernon goes next I don't know; but I do care a lot.