For Emma, Forever Ago Image
Metascore
88

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

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 373 Ratings

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  • Summary: The debut album from ex-DeYarmond Edison member Justin Vernon.

Top Track

Skinny Love
Come on skinny love just last the year Pour a little salt we were never here My my my, my my my, my-my-my my-my... Staring at the sink of blood and... See the rest of the song lyrics
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: 96 out of 100
  2. Negative: 0 out of 100
  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. Craig
    Apr 17, 2008
    10
    I think this was the best album of 2007. Hauntingly beautiful. Skinny Love never gets old.
  4. BillS.
    Dec 22, 2008
    10
    Hands down, album of the year. Beautiful.
  5. Jun 25, 2013
    10
    Incredible album. My favorite of all time,really. One of the complaints I've read on message boards and the like is that the lyrics areIncredible album. My favorite of all time,really. One of the complaints I've read on message boards and the like is that the lyrics are "nonsensical". This just means you aren't really listening. This album tells a very detailed, very intricate story. Very slight details are incredible here. For those who don't get it:

    Flume Icarus’ story is a metaphor for getting too close to someone and then losing them
    Lump Getting over that un-named girl, and falling for “Emma”
    Skinny Love Short mutual love as they slowly grew apart
    The Wolves Complete loss of love from “Emma”, which slowly wears away at him as she won’t tell him she’s moved on, but Justin knows now
    Blindsided He saw a breakup coming, but something made it especially tough, past just a breakup. Perhaps another guy, etc.
    Creature Fear The fear of seeing “Emma” around and saying something stupid/embarrassing
    Team Time Passes
    For Emma He still loves Emma and attempts once more to get her back
    RE: Stacks Re-rejection hits hard, maybe even via e-mail, hence the “RE:”. She has no love for him at all, and not even enough respect for him to have that conversation in person
    Wisconsin About moving on and trying to find yourself again

    As Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) said in an interview, "Everyone has an Emma". This album will hit home if you've ever been rejected, broken up with, or in love. Truly incredible.Too bad 10 is the highest rating I can give it.
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  6. AniruddhaB.
    Jan 6, 2009
    9
    Beautiful album. Justin Vernon's voice is so intimate... yet so intense... the best of the year for me along with portishead's third.
  7. OkeeMokee
    Feb 28, 2008
    4
    What a bore!

See all 100 User Reviews