For Emma, Forever Ago Image
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 428 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. Negative: 0 out of 109
  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. Craig
    Apr 17, 2008
    10
    I think this was the best album of 2007. Hauntingly beautiful. Skinny Love never gets old.
  4. PaulB.
    Dec 30, 2008
    10
    Best album of 2008. The Vinyl interprets the space of the cabin in a way the CD just can't. But in any medium this is a record worth Best album of 2008. The Vinyl interprets the space of the cabin in a way the CD just can't. But in any medium this is a record worth hearing. The live shows with Wilco were outstanding. Expand
  5. Feb 3, 2017
    10
    For an album to be considered truly great, in my opinion, it must work its way into the fabric of your very soul. Only about 4 or 5 albumsFor an album to be considered truly great, in my opinion, it must work its way into the fabric of your very soul. Only about 4 or 5 albums thus far have done that. This is one of them. A beautifully cathartic and heartbreaking record, recorded in isolation in snowy conditions, Justin Vernon shows the cold side of romance. This album encapsulates all of my life experience with love and isolation and heartbreak. It reminds me of a dear friend. It isn't for everyone and the kick of electric guitar on only two songs might not be enough for some people. But for me and many others, it's enough, the instrumentation amplified by what isn't there rather than what is. This will likely be a favorite of mine for many years to come! 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 109 User Reviews