06 January 2009

Best Albums of '08: Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

I admit it, I liked the Bee Gees back in the day, but I've never appreciated falsetto vocals. But as much critical acclaim as this album has received, I approached it with an open mind and surprised myself. The story of the the album's recording has to be part of the allure. Solo artist Justin Vernon retreated to his parents' cabin in Wisconsin for three months to recover from a confluence of personal difficulties: the breakup of a band and a relationship, and poor health. This retreat hadn't meant to result in a recording, but he had the gear and this album was his catharsis. And it sounds like it. The album is less about particular songs than a distinctive style and sound, and an evocative emotionality. I myself will be inclined to listen it only at certain blue times, less for pleasure than for, as was intended, catharsis.

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago


Ahna said...

Of all the albums you've been highlighting, this is my favorite. There's just something about the sound of the guitar.

carl g said...

It is very simple and beautiful, no question. The guitar is just basic, lo-fi acoustic to me. If you like this, you may really like as well the Neil Young album I'll post on soon.