I would like to take this opportunity to extend thoughts and prayers from the entire Jet Fuel Review staff to any and all affected by the horrendous shooting that occurred in Las Vegas the other night. It is true, especially in troubling times like this, that turning to music may feel like one of the only things we can do, as it provides the comfort and escape we need from the travesties in the real world. But even then, I encourage all to help out in any way, if possible, to support and aid the people and families who are victims of the attack.
Secondly, RIP to Tom Petty, who was one of the greatest rock performers of all time and a childhood favorite of mine. As such, I have honored the man with the inclusion of what is likely my favorite track of his at the top of my half of the playlist.
Elsewhere on the Jukebox this week, Jake and I have highlighted tracks from Angel Olsen, Grizzly Bear, James Blake and Bon Iver, and Post Malone.
Welcome to Basement Dwelling, where I review new records that should be on your musical radar. What sets Basement Dwelling apart from other music review columns is that these are all albums that are currently residing in my record collection. No promo copy was given, no stream was listened to. Instead, a physical copy of an album was purchased before I listened to it. Don’t think of me as a critic, but as a music obsessive looking to open a dialogue about some of the best tunes that are currently being released.
Let’s head down to the basement and listen to 22, A Millionby Bon Iver…
There are some opinions I carry that have always made me feel like an outsider when talking to my fellow music nerds: I hate Nirvana, I don’t really care much about The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, and I don’t like Bon Iver…like at all. I think his stuff is super overrated. Seriously, how the hell could his previous record top so many year-end lists? Did all those critics not listen to any other music in all of 2011?
This was a mindset that I’d held for years; it genuinely bothered me that I didn’t like Bon Iver. Over the past few months, after talking with friends about Bon Iver and my distaste for Justin Vernon’s work, I found myself wanting to revisit his older albums to see if I’d maybe been too harsh on the Iver. And you know what? I actually started to warm up to him. But in my newfound appreciation came a genuine hype for the record I’ll be talking about in this post: Bon Iver’s third LP, 22, A Million.
Hello, music lovers! We are back this week with a personal favorite of mine: “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver. I’m sure most of you have heard this song a thousand times and are cringing at the thought of diving into this over-played tune. But whether you have a lyric tattooed on your wrist, or have cultivated a secret hate for this song, there is no denying its raw beauty.
While writer Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver) wrote and performed the original version of this song on his 2007 album For Emma, Forever Ago, an artist named Birdy also has a beautiful cover, and both renditions will be available on the playlist. Enjoy!
In an interview, Vernon explained the meaning behind the title. “It’s about that time in a relationship that I was going through; you’re in a relationship because you need help, but that’s not necessarily why you should be in a relationship. And that’s skinny. It doesn’t have weight. Skinny love doesn’t have a chance because it’s not nourished,” Vernon said. I think that this is a beautiful way of phrasing a very common struggle most of us experience — the regret that comes with a failed relationship.