Bon Iver - For Emma

Bon Iver has heartbreak on tap, the poor old soul, but can find resolve in his brilliance at conveying it, and making us want to listen to the pain.

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Released 16 Sep 2008 | | By James Lawrenson | Rating: 4
Bon Iver - For Emma

Blah blah... lived in a log cabin... blah blah blah. You know the story. I know the story. We know the story. Squirrels know the story. Can we move on now?

From the electric that sounds like it wants to cry, to a successful use of brass to convey sadness (hard, hard, hard to do) to the gentle acoustic that underpins the whole pile, 'For Emma' is a melancholy beauty, and further cements Bon Iver as one of the stars of 2008. The tears are plucked out, as Justin Vernon (playing the part of an ex lover) cries out his dismissal "go find another lover".

The b-side 'Wisconsin' has a different feel to the tracks of the album. Sounding like it was recorded in a church, from far away, on a tape, it is simple and slow. Occasionally the levels rise, but the depressed mumbled vocals and rumbling acoustic soon return.

Bon Iver has heartbreak on tap, the poor old soul, but can find resolve in his brilliance at conveying it, and making us want to listen to the pain.