S. Carey – All We Grow
You’d have to add a montage before it hits cinemas, but Sean Carey’s allegiance to Bon Iver has inspirational triumph written all over it. A morose inspirational triumph admittedly, but get Glee to cover Skinny Love for the soundtrack and it’d whip up that Almost Famous-vibe for sure. After a fortnight spent memorising For Emma, Forever Ago, Carey approached Justin Vernon at a gig, impressed him with his homework and was invited to join the band.
Unfortunately, it seems that in slavishly regurgitating Vernon’s music, Carey is stuck emulating it with lesser success. All We Grow’s evocative, rustic atmosphere is unquestionably beautiful, but lacks For Emma’s incisiveness. It nonetheless skirts close to excellence, but truthfully, if these nine tracks were released by someone unconnected to Bon Iver, they’d have to dodge justifiable charges of plagiarism. Yet if anonymously presented as Bon Iver’s second full-length, they’d spark more disappointment than excitement. [Chris Buckle]