Bon Iver – Bon Iver album review

Posted on 11 June 2011
By Andy Marr
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Justin Vernon aka Bon Iver became an overnight folk messiah with his critically acclaimed debut album For Emma and three years on comes the highly anticipated sophomore effort.

On first listen the tracks are a lot more layered. Particularly on the opening single Calgary this is a new sound for Bon Iver and it incorporates electronic elements making for a fuller sound.

Bon Iver doesn’t have the same feel of isolation that For Emma has, but it still holds the poetic lyrics and haunting voice of Justin Vernon, which is reason enough to fall for this album.

This could be seen as the ‘difficult’ second album, but Bon Iver have shown progression in their music, choosing to develop and evolve instead of trying to recreate the debut album and the result is a bold and brilliant reinvention.

But his second release holds similarities with For Emma on tracks like Holocene and Michicant being led by the sound of plucked guitar strings, yet the record contrasts again with the closing track Beth/Rest which feels very far removed from the musical style which won Justin great acclaim.

This is musical progression for Bon Iver and was summed up aptly by Justin: “This is the record I wanted to make my whole life.

“Lyrically, it’s an extension of For Emma, its like, what happens when you leave that place? You don’t necessarily arrive somewhere new right away.”

Bon Iver is released 20th June 2011