For Emma, Forever Ago

For Emma, Forever Ago Image
Metascore
88

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

User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 276 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. It’s seamless in its construction, poetic in its songwriting and moving in its aesthetic impression.
  2. For Emma, though only nine tracks long, is as beautiful, bleak and intimate as anything 2008 is likely to throw up.
  3. The most subtle incorporation of drum machines, horns, and vocal effects transforms Bon Iver’s music from the quiet afterthought that characterizes much of today’s indie-folk into a sonic landscape of moods and nuances.
  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. 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: 94 out of 98
  2. Negative: 0 out of 98
  1. AlanR.
    Mar 2, 2008
    10
    Amazing album. Sounds like Tunde Adepimbe from TV on the Radio meets the instrumentation of Sam Beam. Great for late nights or early morning Amazing album. Sounds like Tunde Adepimbe from TV on the Radio meets the instrumentation of Sam Beam. Great for late nights or early morning car drives to work. My only complaint is that this rerelease came out at the end of winter. Would have been a great soundtrack for December and January. Expand
  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 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. scottRoth
    Dec 3, 2008
    10
    This is amazing! one of my favs this year. if your going to listen to anything this is a must.
  5. Aug 22, 2011
    10
    Justin Vernon has one of the most beautiful falsetto I've ever heard. This album is a slice of pure musical genius. Each track is beautifullyJustin Vernon has one of the most beautiful falsetto I've ever heard. This album is a slice of pure musical genius. Each track is beautifully written and gets better with each listen. I never found this to be an entertaining album but after listening to it a few times, it's really grown on me. Lump Sum is easily the best track on this album but every other track is amazing also. All In All, "For Emma, Forever Ago" is an extremely well written album and I highly recommend this to anyone. A 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 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 98 User Reviews