The infamous vocoder (used typically by hip-hop musicians and Cher) is used on the track “Woods”. This marks a different direction to Bon Iver’s regular guitar or piano followed by voice. However, this track is also the most annoying thing I have heard in a while (except for maybe Antony and The Johnsons click here to read about them). Just like crappy hip-hop or pop musicians, he takes one verse and repeats it. He sings :
“I’m up in the woods
I’m down on my mind
I’m building a still
to slow down the time”
There are no instruments on this track and it is full on acapella, but the use of the vocoder makes it quite tacky. Had he used a different sort of harmonizer or even added beats to this song, then it would have made sense. Instead it sounds like he’s trying to sound like the one man Beach Boys and fails miserably. The only positive point of this track is the background vocals that are washed in reverb. Bon Iver sounds best without any effects.
Overall, this EP is not that great. With only one track thats Emma like, you will be disappointed. I’m not sure his next album will be all that great if this is the direction he is planning on taking.
Grade : C-
Suggested Listening :
- Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago (Watch this clip on what went into this album) :