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For Emma Forever Ago
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£7.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 18 December 2017
Recommended to me. Never heard of Bon Iver before. Now I think they're absolutely great, Take some time to listen to this album and I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
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on 4 December 2017
ok
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on 7 March 2017
Beautiful album and sounds great on vinyl! Fast delivery as well.
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on 5 May 2017
alt-country must have!
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on 8 October 2009
First listen poor music BUT listen 2 or 3 times more and it just grows and grows on you. Compulsive listening.
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on 6 September 2015
Like no doubt thousands of young guys and girls during the late 00's, I got my heart broken to the soundtrack of Bon Iver. I was an undergraduate at university, and as Nick Hornby in High Fidelity observed, it was hard to tell what came first - was I miserable because I loved Bon Iver, or did I love Bon Iver because I was miserable? Did my enjoyment of the album instil in me a subconscious desire to experience the same things Justin Vernon sang about, draped in eerie harmonies, clicks and scrapes, to run the same gamut of emotions, or was it simply catharsis with the pain that he sings so vividly and almost tangibly about that drew me in closer to the warm tones? Regardless, the album For Emma, Forever Ago brings back powerful, if unrefined, emotions. The peculiar flavour of heartbreak, with its delicate, absolute and all-consuming awfulness and despair is a memory that I think we can all remember or at least empathise with. And it's at its most beautiful in songs like Skinny Love, re:stacks and Blindsided, (and Beach Baby from the LP, Blood Bank) songs of anger, mourning, shock, pain, loss, sadness, and ultimately, by the end of the album, acceptance and redemption. It's an intense experience that draws the listener in and confronts them with raw emotion, exposing their own feelings.

On a more personal level, this was the first album for me that addressed love and loss in such an oblique manner ('there's a black crow sitting across from me; his wiry legs are crossed / And he's dangling my keys, he even fakes a toss' is only one example of many) so as, counter intuitively, to make it seem more genuine, free from what I perceived to be the clichés of songs about heartbreak. Undoubtably the rich use of metaphor, the true impart of the songs wrapped up tightly in the words and sounds rather than overtly on display was a big part of why I liked it so much. It's a deeper album that rewards careful listening on a quiet Saturday night, and although student me devoured it, it's not a self-indulgent piece of navel-gazing only fit for those inexperienced in love - to assume that would be to miss out on something truly special. It's a beautifully crafted paean to the experience of loss, a timeless part of the universal experience of the human condition.
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on 21 July 2015
Two stars for the vinyl, but would be five stars for the music as this is a beautiful album.

The first copy I received had two faults, one that make the record jump and the other that make the record loop (it is common for 2nd hand records to have scratches, but not new). As you would imagine, I ask amazon for a replacement (which came extremely fast) only to find the replacement record was worse than the first with more faults than I could count. I think I'm going to stay with the original.

If you want this album, my advice is to buy it on CD as they seem to have a bad batch from the supplier
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on 28 May 2009
the music is quite enjoyable but the quality of the recording ruins it , he sounds like hes singing out of a box , and have the vocals been multiple layered or is that just how bad the mix is ?
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on 24 August 2017
Love this album
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on 5 January 2009
I was first introduced to Bon Iver's music through a cover of "Skinny Love" that a mate of mine was playing at a gig. Although I didn't catch the whole song, even just a snippet of it was enough to make me want to get into this stuff - I was blown away by the power and depth of the songwriting, as well as the beautifully honest lyrics. And when I came to buying the album, I was far from disappointed - that particular song is still a stand-out, but the rest of the album is just as sublime.

Lyrically, "For Emma, Forever Ago" could be read as one long narrative, brimming with honesty, jealousy, guilt, love, loss, pain and a sense of loneliness which can only have come from the circumstances in which it was recorded - Justin Vernon, the mastermind behind the three-piece (though Vernon regularly plays solo as well), wrote and recorded practically the entire album with aged recording gear and a few microphones during 3 months spent absolutely alone in his father's hunting lodge in the woods of Wisconsin, USA. This time was originally going to be used exclusively for 'soul searching' and recovery from sickness and breakups (from both his band and girlfriend), though luckily for us it seems that the only way he was able to effectively channel his emotions was through songwriting and recording.

Even right from delicate opener "Flume," it is obvious that there has been no holding back in the writing of these songs - though often cryptic, there is no doubt that these lyrics are pure, unspoilt poetry - "Only love is all maroon / Lapping lakes like leery loons / Leaving rope burns - reddish ruse" may not be the most accessible refrain, but that is just not what this record is about. There is no shortage of pain here - "Now all your love is wasted / And who the hell was I?" he laments on "Skinny Love," but this is balanced with a rare sense of wisdom and self-awareness. Closer "Re:Stacks" is almost meditative - "This is not the sound of a new man or crispy realization / It's the sound of the unlocking and the lift away" is the closest that this album gets to optimism, but it is just as spellbinding as every other line on the record.

Musically, there are few comparisons that one could reasonably make with this album- vocally, Justin Vernon doesn't have the delicacy of Jeff Buckley (who seems to have somewhat unfairly become the unofficial benchmark for every male singer/songwriter on the planet), and the guitar work is nothing flashy, but one can not help but envy the obvious musical freedom that has been exercised during the making of this record - almost certainly due to the loneliness and isolation that he must have experienced during this time.

Because of this, the instrumentation is varied and flexible like nothing else I have ever heard before - the soundscapes range from understated yet innovative guitar ballads such as "Creature Fear" and "Blindsided" to lush choirs ("Lump Sum") to the sparse 'gospel-like' vocal arrangement on "The Wolves (Act 1&2)," a haunting masterpiece which eventually unfolds to become a thunderous, schizophrenic, beautiful mass of what could be literally hundreds of layered vocals, pounding acoustic guitars and rowdy percussion. Though even at it's musical 'biggest,' there is an all-pervading sense of poignant loneliness, or perhaps 'intimacy,' throughout the album - if you are anything like me, you will be constantly reminded of the fact that this record was made by a man completely isolated from the world. Though this is no bad thing - it only adds to the charm.

Overall, "For Emma, Forever Ago" reads like a revealing trip, both lyrically and musically, into Justin Vernon's troubled, world-weary mind. However, this is no pathetic, whiny, false attempt at honesty - this is a real, dynamic, vibrant masterpiece which will surely shape the next generation of songwriting.
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