I heard the Bon Iver version again today. When I first heard this version, I didn’t like the sound of the piano or the elementary chords he used; but his vocal and emotional reading of the song–I’ve later realized–more than compensates. It’s such a moving song. When I first heard Bonnie sing it at the Greek Theatre years ago I pretty much fell apart. I think Adele is well suited to capture the sadness of the song, and all three versions honor the emotional directness and heartrending pathos of it. It resonates because all of us have gone through this powerlessness at one time or another. It is a timeless song.
Bonnie Raitt, performing her original version: