CD Review: Bon Iver

By Emily Hoover |

Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago is reminiscent of an indie radio station I encountered while in Seattle, called The Mountain. Like Death Cab for Cutie and Snow Patrol, the band’s primary force, Justin Vernon, is heartfelt in his crooning. Yet like most of the indie music scene, he is plagued with a sort of Lithium-induced melancholy. While his music comes equipped with angelic elements, the earlier tracks, especially “Flume,” “Lump Sum,” and “The Wolves (Act I & II),” contain very somber tones.

They fade into the background, almost as a non-entity. Even though songs like “Skinny Love” and “Creature Fear” stand out as novelty and “Re: Stacks” taps into the Jack Johnson-esque acoustic tradition, most of this album becomes a blur. Many of the songs are synthesized and symphonic, while others lack any real melody.

However, For Emma, Forever Ago serves as the perfect soundtrack for a sidewalk café in Pioneer Square; it is great background music when paired with clouds of smoke and detailed conversation.

Although I respect any new and unique music – even Iver’s use of Indochinese din – ultimately, for Emily, this album is a no-go.

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