You know that girl. The one who knows what's cool way before everyone else. The girl who dyed her hair black to counter her almost transparent white skin and wore too much mascara, but not enough to scare you away, just enough to keep you intrigued. The girl you had mid-day fantasies about talking to when you passed her in the hall from geometry to your British lit class, but you never really had the guts to talk to. Yeah, that girl. Bon Iver has created the soundtrack for that girl.
This album, like that girl, is beautiful, delicate and feels far too cool for my conventional ears. It's an album you fall in love with from a distance. You don't want to get too close too soon because you know it will easily be scared off. At only nine songs, it's slight in its build, but it carries its weight perfectly - almost as if it's floating.
It's the unconventional beauty of this album that keeps you interested. It's also the fact that deep down you want to be the one who introduces all your friends to this album. You want to be seen in public listening to this album in your headphones. You want to be recognized as an appreciator of such unique and atypical beauty.
When you first see that girl, you may think she's too introverted. Maybe she's suicidal. There's a dark side under that surface to be sure, but just how deep and how dark does it go? You'll never know until you abandon your fears and dive in. While the fear may override your quest to really get to know this album, the beauty keeps you coming back. You want to get as intimate as you can with it, but you don't want to smother, for fear of rejection. Remember, that girl is delicate. She's probably dating a senior anyway. But what if she's not? Is she close to anyone? You'll never know.
An infatuation like this will last a lifetime. It's a deep love and appreciation for something you'll never fully understand, though you will try. Like the questions he poses at the end of the song "Skinny Love," "Who will love you? Who will fight? Who will fall far behind?" You will, if you don't act now. Go ahead, take her books and take her hand. Force yourself to fight through your fear and get to know this lovely little long-player.