Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

Alex Solzy asked “what’s life for, if what’s required is to not live?” and I think he was onto the whole point of everything forever. Bon Iver seems as though he gives a shit about living and feeling and that’s rather nice, even if I don’t know what the hell he’s singing about most of the time.

It behooves the review to speak of the actual content of the songs, so lettuce do that, shall we? Everything everything forever everything comes down to a warm acoustic guitar strummed all speaker-fillingly and Bon’s cherubic voice. It’s almost unreal, the voice that is, angelic to the point where the words sound like they’re ascending to the heavens and there’s nothing you can do. The story is something about a cabin in the woods and a months of sadness and venting. Perhaps it’s an epitome of indie shy-boy cuteness, perhaps (but not) it’s the emasculation of modern man. Perhaps it’s a long-forgotten reaction to old Zim, all directness and sadness and beauty.

Yes, yes, but are the songs any cocksucking good? Yes, they’re mostly very good. Could I ever dislike a song called “Skinny Love”? It’s not catchy like a pop song, but it stays up there, percolating like coffee, making you introspective not like coffee because that was a bad analogy. There are only nine songs and one of them is a continuation – this is your month away? But this is not pornography. There’s only pathos here, but it’s so soft. It’s softer than clouds made of marshmallows, and you shouldn’t be eating those. The guitar tone is so warm it lights up the night, but gently. You could almost scream, but it’s so soothing.

Are you nice and quiet? Are you apathetic? Then this is your bed and breakfast. Are you cynisterical and wheezing? Then this is your meditation. Either way this is an aphrodisiac. Fair dinkum, this is a record that touches greatness for what it tries to be. You da man.



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