8.5

Bon Iver: Blood Bank EP

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Bon Iver: <em>Blood Bank</em> EP
Winter songwriter leaves seasonal trappings behind "Blood Bank" is, well, electric.For Emma, Forever Ago

The most jarring shift from For Emma can be found in "Woods," the EP's final and bravest song. A chorus of Vernons intone and howl a cappella in perhaps the most complicated and beautiful arrangement we've yet heard from Bon Iver to date. But the entire composition is either augmented or marred by the pervasive use of a vocoder. It's blatant, unabashed electronic trickery applied to music from an artist to which most of us previously cleaved as the very opposite of all that. Although perhaps not robbing the arrangement of all its heart, it lends a metallic, inhuman edge to a songwriter whose entire appeal was borne from his humanity.

Listen to the entire Blood Bank EP on the band's MySpace page.