For Emma, Forever Ago
The problem with reviewing albums that I choose to buy and listen to, is that I’m going to give most of these a great rating. I knew little of this album before purchasing it, but did so at the insistence of my wife, who went to high school with Justin Vernon. The album starts off with a familiar indie folk acoustic guitar that is allowed to rattle and vibrate harshly as the music builds in intensity. Vernon’s falsetto voice matches this smooth to gruff rattle adding a fervent pitch to even the quietest of his songs. One of the most striking aspects of the music is the way each song layers on various instruments. You’ll pick up horn and flute in the background, various percussion instruments, and sometimes Vernon’s voice, each in different songs along the way, creating a diverse album with varied sound. This is definitely one to pick up.