Blood Bank

January 19, 2009 | Format: MP3

$0.00
Also available in CD Format

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: January 19, 2009
  • Release Date: January 19, 2009
  • Label: Jagjaguwar
  • Copyright: 2009 Jagjagwar
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 16:53
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001P1JQJO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Well, if you were hoping for something new, you're gonna get it.
Storylover
It's an amazing experience with headphones, but is also pleasant to play during dinner or conversation, because it can be enjoyed on levels.
M. DEWIT
The title cut is especially strong, with sharp lyrics and strong guitar work.
Russell Evansen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Russell Evansen on January 21, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Bon Iver (essentially Justin Vernon and a couple of bandmates) burst out of the frozen Wisconsin north woods in 2007 with "For Emma, Forever Ago" - a record of quiet, contemplative and deeply felt songs triggered by the ending of several relationships, both personal and professional. Vernon took advantage of his months of isolation to craft a set of emotionally direct songs that sometimes employed rather oblique lyrics, and his not-for-everybody falsetto singing was said to be either enchanting (most critics) or off-putting (many music fans).

But as word spread about "Emma" and Bon Iver played more and more live shows (even turning up on late night TV on rare ocassions) his fan base grew, and an increasing number of online reviews labeled "Emma" an emotional masterpiece.

If you're new to this artist, you should probably begin with "Emma" to get a sense of his unique style. Fans of that record, however, will find much to love on "Blood Bank," which contains several tunes written and/or recorded around the same time period. The title cut is especially strong, with sharp lyrics and strong guitar work.

The first three songs could easily be outtakes from "Emma," and all are easily the equal of anything found on that record. It's the final cut, "Woods" that is the wild card, and the one that is likely to sharply divide dedicated Bon Iver fans. Making use of the Auto-tune technology currently in vogue among hip-hop artists like L'il Wayne and Kanye West, Vernon electronically distorts his vocals to the point where he sounds almost machine-like.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Baron von Gaspantstein on January 20, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This EP is a good sign for people who liked Bon Iver's first album. The tunes are soulful and share similar aspects to the LP: the falsetto voice layered multiple times, the trance-like repetition that builds to an emotional release, the cryptic lyrics.

There is also experimentation. "Blood Bank," is recognizably written for a full band. "Beach Baby," uses a slide guitar solo. "Babys" uses piano, one note repeated for tension. He uses a similar technique with his voice and guitar, but the piano adds a new tone. But these are small experiments.

The big surprise comes with "Woods," when he uses vocoder. This song needed to go last, because I don't know what you could put after it. In the beginning the vocals are high in the mix, but as the song progresses the same repeated lines are sung in different ways and recorded differently, some with harmony, some distantly reverbed; it all creates a huge emotional space. My favorite part is when he strains the heights of his register. Amazing.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Adam on March 18, 2009
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago was one of 2008's biggest critical darlings. On that album, Mr. Vernon kept things at their absolute most basic. He recorded in solitude on what he described as "a very light set-up" with the intent of distributing the recordings as demos to be shopped to the labels. In the end, he created a timeless piece that was driven by simplicity and emotion.

Often a fear for both artists and labels is the sophomore effort. Will the fans be as receptive? Does the artist have another glittering prize in their pocket? It's called the sophmore slump for a reason. Fortunately, Bon Iver's Blood Bath EP picks up where For Emma, Forever Ago left off and takes small paddles into a bigger sea.

Track by Track:

"Blood Bank" (4:45)
It sounds like a track that could have easily been on For Emma but with a bit more polish. Don't fear, is still simple and beautiful. It's just slightly cleaner in sound. Vernon also drags out his "Iiiiiiiiiiiiii...know it well" to the point of striking a Coldplay pose. Don't let it deter you, Vernon has a lovely voice and the softness of these lines underscore a great song.

"Beach Baby" (2:40)
This is a short song starting with just Vernon and his acoustic guitar. He quickly paints the picture of lost love's despair and even borders on sarcasm. The first line says it all with "When you're out, tell your lucky one...to know that you'll leave." After his brief acoustic reflection, the song closes with a haunting slide guitar.

"Babys" (4:43)
"Babys" is broken into thirds. The first 1:25 of this song is repetitive piano chords that evoke mental imagery of a snowfall and sounds like a cross between a George Winston track and Animal Collective's "My Girls".
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By David Arthurs on February 2, 2009
Format: Audio CD
First, let me say the songs are good - the title track is very good. But I just cannot get over the pricing on this one. You can buy the full album (cd), For Emma Forever Ago for $10.99 and this FOUR (4) yes, FOUR!!! song EP costs $10.98. Am I the only one who thinks this is absurd?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A fellow with a keyboard on November 11, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
These four songs are excellent in their own ways, but in particular I would like to call your attention to "Beach Baby," which is, simply put, heartbreaking. I don't have a clue what the lyrics are saying, nor do I even think Bon Iver has figured it out, but the slide guitar tells me everything I need to know.

The fascinating thing about Bon Iver is that he doesn't "write" songs as much as let songs write themselves. He starts by humming sounds that feel right and only later does he try to fit words to those sounds. ("Don't you lock when you're fleeing / I'd like not to hear keys / only hold til your coffee warms") The result is often mildly psychedelic and even that awful word "experimental," but it doesn't collapse under abstraction and randomness like most experimental music because it's grounded in the great progenitor of great music: feeling. It even magnifies or more directly channels feeling because it skips that whole part about trying to make sense.

Rather than putting music on paper through brute force, Bon Iver puts himself at the service of music. Rather than listening to Bon Iver, we're listening to sadness and longing themselves. To understand why this matters, you've got to close your eyes and press play.
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