Bon Iver – Blood Bank

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In the movie version I’ll have linked to a picture of a grate right there. Get it? Yeah, you get it. You’re a smart lass.

Okay! So there’s only four songs here. It’s an EP, which means “Extended Play” which means “short record.” Best not to wonder about that one. The four songs are quite different, you know. The titular track is a shockingly great (and upsetting in its romance) catchy-tune-o, all wrapped up in blankets around the line “we started to kiss.” It’s a love story and a good one, one that feels like darkest winter with its distant guitar and cherubic vocals and idealistic lyrics. Oh, to fall in love at a blood bank. It enhances the desire but decreases the performance. Worth at least ten listens, for it gets better the more you hear it.

Then there are three worse songs. There’s “Beach Baby,” a completely unmemorable acoustic guitar song. What’s it about? Beats me, and I’ve heard it fifty times! Then there’s “Babys,” a clangy clangy piano song that only gets around to talking about how “summer comes to multiply” without going into much more detail over its four minutes of running time. It has no repeating parts or anything, so all you get is piano clanging and not much else. Last there’s “Woods,” almost five minutes of various vocodered ways of saying where Bon Iver is and what he’s doing while he’s there, over and over and over. It’s neat, I guess, if you’re really into production, but there’s not much to hang your brain on if you’re listening for pleasure.

So, um, Okay! Bon Iver rarely makes bad songs, but his kindliness gets very backgroundy rather often, and the last three songs here emphasize that. It’s a good make-out EP, I guess, but you’ll want something else once you start having more fun. But oh, that glorious title track.

7/10

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