For Emma, Forever Ago Image
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 243 Ratings

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  • Summary: The debut album from ex-DeYarmond Edison member Justin Vernon.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. 100
    Isolation doesn't get more splendid than this. [June 2008, p.100]
  2. For Emma, though only nine tracks long, is as beautiful, bleak and intimate as anything 2008 is likely to throw up.
  3. Although For Emma, Forever Ago works best as a concise listen, as each song segues naturally into the next, tracks like 'Blindsided' and 'For Emma' quickly rise as shining standouts.
  4. While none of Bon Iver's background notes scream "new"--dissolved love affair, check; band breaks up (Vernon's freak-jug outfit, DeYarmond Edison), check--the chilling, rusty grandeur of For Emma will stop you in your snow tracks, however little it snows around here.
  5. 80
    Vernon's voice--delicately layered and yearning--gives standouts 'Skinny Love' and 'Flume' their stunningly direct emotional impact, but his sturdy folk cords, earthy melodies, and plainspoken, pastoral lyrics prevent the album from descending into self-pity. [Mar 2008, p.97]
  6. As good as it is, it’s clear that Vernon still has room to grow. A few songs could have used a little extra instrumental kick, and while his songs are great, you can tell he has more to offer. Keep an eye on this one.
  7. The turns of phrase are usually cul-de-sacs, the flights into obscurity have bum wings, and do you really prefer, for instance, Vernon's best-in-show "Now all your love is wasted?/Then who the hell was I?" (much less "Only love is all maroon/Lapping lakes like leery loons") to this Creeley ordinaire

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 89 out of 93
  2. Negative: 0 out of 93
  1. SleimanC.
    Mar 5, 2008
    10
    Great album from this french artist! Merci!
  2. Dave
    Nov 25, 2009
    10
    The only thing I can add to what everybody else has said about this incredible album is that it breaks your heart.
  3. NP
    Mar 26, 2008
    10
    Though I frequent this site regularly for music recommendations, I rarely rate albums. That said, this is one of the most beautiful and affective albums I have ever heard. I know that sounds like a grand and thoughtless statement, but it's true. My response to it was immediate. It's indie rock-soul-folk, and it's gorgeous. Expand
  4. MS
    Nov 24, 2008
    10
    Justin Vernon is a very talented musician and always has been. Anything he has ever written, including music off of this album, is perfection.
  5. Jun 2, 2011
    10
    5000 characters isn't enough so I'll sum it up with this: perfect. I can honestly listen to this album anytime/season/place etc...easily in my Top 10 albums of all time (talking about ones made in my lifetime). Expand
  6. NeiloM.
    Oct 14, 2008
    9
    Buy this one on vinyl and let-er-spin on a Sunday morning while you're blankly staring at birds out the window. "Skinny Love" is just OK people (a nice sounding pop styled song... but not the best song on the album!) The "Wolves" songs are much more layered and unexpected in sound and rhythm. Great sound-scape of an album. Somewhat haunting...great poetry. Expand
  7. OkeeMokee
    Feb 28, 2008
    4
    What a bore!

See all 93 User Reviews