100 Best Albums of the 2000s
Bon Iver, 'For Emma, Forever Ago'
One of the all-time great breakup albums, not to mention one of the era's surprise success stories. Justin Vernon, recovering from the end of a relationship and the collapse of his band, retreated to a cabin in rural Wisconsin with his acoustic guitar. He spent the winter chopping wood, growing his beard, and writing these songs, lamenting, "Can't you find a clue/When your eyes are painted Sinatra blue?" Despite the stark folkie sound, it's warm and caressing, with Vernon's falsetto the kind of voice that can keep you welcome company on a bad-whiskey night.