Bon Iver’s ‘Bon Iver’ – A Review

21 Jun

Bon Iver‘s first album was a triumph. At least that’s what the crazy A.I. from Portal claimed in her final song. That’s right. She wasn’t taking about the epic events of the game. She was referring to the ground-breaking debut album by Justin Vernon, oddly entitled For Emma, Long Ago. The album was a somber and beautiful as the title implies, and the sequel has been highly anticipated by humans and robots alike.

The majority of the new album, Bon Iver, isn’t a disappointment. The first few bars of opening track Perth will send shivers down spines. Simplistic and haunting guitar. Images of teenagers lying in darkened rooms with lava-lamps a-glow spring to mind. There’s a little experimentation in the first couple of tracks, but after a few listens, fans of the previous album will settle in nicely. Vernon’s voice floats around beautifully whilst the instruments meander along, carrying him where ever he’s planning to go. Holocene really sets the album on it’s path, and really emphasises why Vernon has a band behind him now, rather than locking himself away in the mountains alone this time.

This album really would be wonderful, if not for the final track. Beth/Rest is an anomaly on this outing. It has hints of the classic Bon Iver sound, but sounds out of it’s time. More like something that would be found on a Phil Collins album than should be bring what is a five star album to a close. Ignore the final track, and Vernon may have just released a contender for album of the year.

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