1. Perth - I want to find an American Idol producer and punch him in his face! God muthafrakofadamn! Is it derivative of Bon Iver's originally release? Only at first (which is a good thing, since I want more of "For Emma" gods dammit!) but then the thrash metal percussions kick in and I suddenly ordered Dominos. I don't know why but I did. It made me hungry.
2. Minnesota, WI - This thing is better than McDonalds french fries. There is a very natural opening vocal that moves easily to falsetto and back out and then right back into it and so on. At this point my ears are in musical nirvana. I don't want to punch anyone. I cancel the Dominos order.
3. Holocene - Right from the start of the opening guitar my pucker factor has increased. It is like a sixth sense for genius. I know I am about to get kicked in the ears with brilliance and this thing doesn't disappoint. Oh lordy lordy lordy so few things live up to expectations but this album is already raping my negativity and I am in love with my victimizer.
4. Towers - Hey! It is Toad the Wet Sprocket! Or some country song? Oh nos! It is Bon Iver! The opening is surprisingly safe for this band and the whole of the song feels to me like Arcade Fire and Bon Iver collaborated for at least half of it. It is a pretty song and I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes a radio hit. It isn't moving me like the first three but that is like complaining that I got McDonalds fries instead of Dominos. Come on. Both are 5 star cuisines.
5. Michicant - Worst song on the album if you hate beauty. If you love the pretty, then this is like the 5th song you have listened to on the album and you are crying because life sucks and everything disappoints us but Bon Iver didn't. This baby is soothing and warm and it lubed up its fingers before penetrating deep into my soul, with a later half jingle bellzy thingy followed by subtle percussions. I wouldn't be shocked if this one becomes a favorite live song.
6. Hinnom, TX - I am getting sick and tired of this album not having one bad song on it! Who the hell do these clowns think they are? I also don't like the tickling feeling I get in my manties (man panties,come on) listening to the vocals. What does that say 'bout me?! I am glad CHUCK is going to have new Bon Iver to use during its 5th and final season, Fridays at 8/7c on NBC. Sorry, I need time to get over the constant promotion of that show. Back to this song, it is very soothing and purty and geniusy. Dig it.
7. Wash. - Appropriately named. I need to wash the sexy off me after this one, the best so far on the album. The opening piano note for some reason reminded me of Starbuck playing the piano in that awesome season 4 sequence as the cylons realize she is playing their song. Oh, spoiler warning. Anyway, I so love this song I have to listen to it again. I have this euphoric feeling of falling in love deep inside my freshly sated with McDonalds nuggets belly. I think this is going to be my favorite song of the year.
8. Calgary - This is the single so I have already heard it 50 times. Just like Canadians, when compared to the parts south of it, it just doesn't compare as well. At least at this point in the writing of this review, or whatever you want to call it, it is the worst song on the album! But that could be because I have heard it so many times already. Shrug.
9. Lisbon, OH - There comes a moment on every new album where you get to the last few songs and figure that this is where the duds must be. I remember feeling that way as I listened to Master of Puppets and then Orion slowly built up and I was floored. Yeah, well that didn't happen this time. This is just a build-up to the next track and a total waste of time to review. Thanks! Though, to be fair, I am sure there is a conceptual reason for it and blahblahblah but I am not here to review the psychology of genius. I just love great songs.
10. Beth Rest - The apparent final song (at least for this review) is a fine close-out that made me think of the end of PURPLE RAIN (the movie... well, so... the song of the same title). It has a very 80s movie music feel to it. It would have fit right into a quiet moment in LETHAL WEAPON 2.
The first 7 (or 8) songs are wonderful and beautiful and brilliant and this and that and whatever. Is it as great as the band's original release? I don't know. I think it is hard to top perfection. I will need to listen to it a few hundred times to know for sure. But if I were to compare it, I would say For Emma, Forever Ago was their Master of Puppets and that this one is their Ride the Lightning (thrash metal fans will understand). Both are great. One is more memorable to the masses.
So, on the initial listen, on a rating scale that goes from ZERO to ONE HUNDRED, where their first was a 100 for me, this one is:
96 out of 100
And now I go to listen to Wash. 500 times in a row.