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  • Author's Saving Throw: A rather mild example. Though "Beth/Rest" has since become quite popular among the fandom, it was at first intensely divisive due to its Retraux style and use of Auto-Tune. Vernon responded by performing an entirely acoustic version featuring just him and a piano. This version is universally beloved, even among those who didn't like the original.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Song version. "Perth," "Flume," "Beth/Rest," and "The Wolves (Act I and II)" aren't singles but are fan favorites and get played live at most concerts.
  • Epic Riff: "Perth," "Towers," "Beth/Rest."
  • I Am Not Shazam: Even though the band has a set lineup now, Justin Vernon still gets called "Bon Iver" sometimes.
  • Love It or Hate It: "Beth/Rest", at first. It was either one of the best songs of 2011 or the biggest flaw on an album from that year.
  • Narm Charm: "Beth/Rest" embodies this, making use of so many 80s cliches that it would seem horrible on paper. So why is it so damn moving? Nobody knows.
    • Several reviewers actually theorized that the entire album was arranged to build up to it.
  • Tear Jerker: A hell of a lot. Particularly "Re: Stacks," the climax of "The Wolves (Acts I & II)," "Beth/Rest," "Perth," "Skinny Love," and "Hinnom, TX.," not to mention "Holocene" and "Towers," which can induce Tears of Joy.
    • "Calgary" is probably one of the most gut-wrenchingly tearjerking songs of the bunch.
  • Wangst: AVERTED. One would think an album called "For Emma Forever Ago" would be filled with this, but somehow it isn't.
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