This is the most I've had to say about anything music-related in a long while. My crisis of rock critic faith may still be ongoing, but on this topic at least, I certainly know what I think. Many thanks to Stomp and Stammer, as always, for letting me say whatever the hell I want to.
(This album is good but absolutely doesn't deserve a 9.5, Pitchfork. Sigh. Chill out, already.)
...What becomes apparent, though, when I put on my critical hat about it, is this: more than ever before, bands, the massive music PR engine that promotes their work and the critics that cover it are not separate, independent entities. They're symbiotic, and the very time-and-place-centric story that surrounded For Emma's release may have sunk in for Vernon and co. They can't create in a vacuum, and they don't....[Read more]
Thought: It's a strange thing to really care about--and be in some suspense about--the release of an album. Outside of Harry Potter, I've rarely been so curious about the forthcoming part of a serial of any kind. But musicians and their fans have different goals and different expectations. Who's to say if they'll ever see eye-to-eye?
Check out all the Bon Iver and Bon Iver-related gushing I've done over the years here.