…where we eschew impossible decade compiling lists and have the wonderful members of our community think back to some of their favourite albums from this past decade and say as many (or few) words about it as they like. This time, mrjohnfury remembers For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver… Take it away John!
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago (2008)
for a long time, i avoided this record. maybe it was the cover (the original wood-cut cover), or the name of the band. it may have even been snide meta-indie wrath because everyone’s favourite review site was ants on a honeyhill over it. whatever it was, i was misguided.
“bless me, father. i have sinned” was the faint liturgy that breathed from my mouth after the very first notes of the very first song, ‘flume.’ from that point on – the very first tumbling strums of the wavery plea – i had fallen in love, i had fallen down a cliff, i had smashed my head on every rock the whole way down, and even there, spread-eagled in the cold, cold water, bleeding, i was in total, Dionysian ecstasy. all the way through the choir of ‘lump sum’ through the rapids of ‘skinny love’ and down, and down, and further still – oh ‘wolves’…
perhaps it speaks more about me than it does about the music, but god help me i love this record. i have yet to hear something crafted with more finesse yet seem so honest. i have yet to hear something so complete. if this record were a blanket i would have worn holes in it by now. even in its threadbare state, it holds together with the most invisible of gossamer. it has put me to sleep, it has woken me, it has brought joy to friends and enemies’ ears alike.
this is the kind of music that does this to me – thrashes then smolders then escapes, trips over itself and gets caught again – and yet somehow, in the darkness, is still breathing. is still singing.
i can no longer pick out a favourite track – i have listened to this to the point where every track on the record has been my favourite, to the point where it is all one long song. best enjoyed in full. death of the album, they say? i submit, for your approval, bon iver’s “for emma, forever ago.”
Lovely John, thank you so much!!! Got a few more coming your way, so stay tuned!
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