Well, well, well... Bon Iver. We meet again. I remember the first time around being kind of eh. Perhaps your older EP will prove to be a little more entertaining? We shall see, we shall see.
And there's my mini-convo with Bon Iver. Yup. Funny tidbit - the Katheen Edwards album we looked at two days ago was co-produced by Justin Vernon - aka Bon Iver. See? Learn something new everyday. Only, I already knew that. Damn. Must get more information...
This was the EP between the two full-length albums (one in 2008, one in 2011). There are only four songs, one of which was sampled on another album we've listened to, Kanye West's "Lost in the Word" off of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Otherwise, these are all songs I've, delightfully, never heard before.
The title track, "Blood Bank" is our first listen in. I still can't say I'm a huge fan overall, but I do like the harmonies on the vocals. They're not altogether drawing, serving as so much more of a lullaby to me than really thrilling music. I suppose it's a nice enough love story, even given the odd meeting. It's really very simplistic musically, which is never necessarily a bad thing, it's just hard to pay attention to it at all times.
"Beach Baby" is not at all what you might think given the title. The only beach I could see this working for is one up in Oregon, and that's because it's colder and calmer than any other I've been to. It's different. While there are some strains of a tropical nature during this, it really remains more of a song for the colder days by the water - you know the ones I'm talking about. There's not a need for much on those days, other than maybe a slight slow song like this to think far too much to.
Wait, don't tell me we've got a pick-up beat going on here - there's a piano at work and it's getting louder! "Babys" has this incredible sense of hope for something bright right from the start. It honestly doesn't seem to lead to much at all. The best part about the entire song is the piano, which just keeps this rhythm going throughout. The rest is just more airy, boring lyrics over top of that, which do little take make you listen beyond that first general sound.
"Woods" is the final track, and the one we'll apparently be the most familiar with in some way shape or form. Ah, there is it, the auto-tune - that's the familiar part. I do vaguely remember this sound. I think I listened to Kanye long before I got to Bon Iver, and this made me a little excited, but then I realized Kanye took it to a much better and more exciting level than this one does. Granted, it's a good attempt at building harmonies, but it's just so... ugh.
All right, well that's over. You can't deny - I gave it an honest shot. I really tried. Sort of. That first album listen made me hesitant for any more, and this just furthers that thought in regards to ever listening to the original album either. At least last time we had those visual videos to go along with each track and give something more. This is the kind of stuff that sounds awesome and inventive in the studio, but is just not enjoyable in the final listeners' ears.