Sunday, March 2, 2008
This Is An Album
A little while back, our friend Cherry Ghost sent us a track by Bon Iver (actual name Justin Vernon) called “Skinny Love.” The track was fantastic, and upon its release, I bought Bon Iver’s album. I haven’t stopped listening to it since.
It’s literally been two weeks. Vampire Weekend has gotten a few rotations, but that’s pretty much it. I have been listening to Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago, for two weeks straight, and I don’t see myself stopping soon.
This album is “singer-songwriter,” but like you’ve never heard a singer-songwriter before. The songs are wandering, exploring, unpredictable, full of crescendos and decrescendos (yes, decrescendos), hard to peg into a particular genre. Which is probably why his myspace describes the music as neo-soul.
This album is personal. It was written while Vernon was holed up in his father’s hunting cabin in the middle of a Wisconsin winter, alone, following the break-up of his band, and, I’m guessing, a break-up with a girl named Emma.
This album is sparse. The majority of it is just Vernon’s falsetto and his acoustic guitar. But the voice is rich and the guitar is beautiful. Horns are added brilliantly on the title track.
This album is echoes. Voices echoing for the first 40 seconds of “Creature Fear.” A single guitar echo throughout the gorgeous closing track “Wisconsin.” Echoes that call to mind a cabin in the woods.
This album is an album in the truest sense of the world. All the songs are unique, but they’re all strung together, bound together; there is a mood that is maintained throughout the album. This album is an album in the sense that Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks is an album, or Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run is an album; it’s a complete piece that should be listened to from start to finish.
Here’s a video “Skinny Love.”
Pick up the album. It’s gotta have the early lead for album of the year in my book. Although…