Bon Iver (LP)


Bon Iver

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Amoeba Review

Those who fell in love with Bon Iver's brilliant debut For Emma, Forever Ago have been waiting four years for a followup, and Justin Verson & co. do not disappoint -- it's as grand, forlorn, and heartbreaking as anyone could hope. Vernon felt too overwhelmed by the pressure to go it alone, so he enlisted a raft of contributors to help inspire him, from pedal steel master Greg Leisz to Arcade Fire sax sideman Colin Stetson to a children's choir. His recent detours with Gayngs and Kanye West have lighted new musical directions for him as well. Each of the 10 songs is named for a different place, and each casts a different mood -- from Civil War-era melancholy to magical forest-wandering to a stoney natural high by album's end. Bon Iver forever!

I still cannot get over the quality of For Emma, Forever Ago. However, this is an awesome sophomore effort for Justin Vernon & Co. Much like their debut, this new self-titled album uses atmospheric sounds and melodies that paint a landscape very much like the one depicted on the album cover. – Gabi, San Francisco

Everything Justin Vernon does hurts me in my heartspace. This album is just as cold, lush, and achey as For Emma, Forever Ago, while still managing to sound completely new. I was a little afraid Vernon would spread himself thin with all of his awesome side projects, but this album is fantastic. There are undertones of I've-been-spending-a-lot-of-time-with-Kanye-West here and there, and overwhelmingly on "Beth/Rest," which should be a terrible track but instead comes off as the best song Michael Bolton never got around to writing. I realize how unappealing that sounds, but it works. If you can get a hold of his cover of Bonnie Raitt "I Can't Make You Love Me" (which is not on the album but available as the "Calgary" b-side) you should clearly do yourself that favor... and then just, like, lock yourself in a dark room and blast the A/C and pretend it's winter and no one loves you and cry all of the tears. It'll be so great! – Jessica, Hollywood

I was so blown away by Bon Iver’s debut For Emma, Forever Ago that I certainly didn’t expect this self-titled sophomore effort to outstrip it significantly. Songwriter Justin Vernon mixes country, folk, R&B, chamber music, jazz, electronica, and simple sound experimentation in ways that make this new beast seem like a friend we have known our whole lives. – J. Mark Beaver, Hollywood

What do I like the most about this record? It’s hard to say. I think it’s the space the music gives me to ruminate. When things are not clearly defined either in terms of structure or lyrical clarity, I can make it up. I don’t really even want to know what the lyrics are; I just like the way it makes me feel—thoughtful, but not sad. I was talking with a customer about this record and he was saying he thought it was more upbeat. At first, I gave him a hard time because Bon Iver and "upbeat" don’t seem to go together, but after For Emma, Forever Ago, I have to agree that he’s right. (Even though I loved that record too, it definitely made me sad.) This is my favorite new release in a while. - L.L., Hollywood



Track Listing



Side A Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Perth
Bon Iver 04:22
2.
Minnesota, WI
Bon Iver 03:52
3.
Holocene
Bon Iver 05:37
4.
Towers
Bon Iver 03:08
5.
Michicant
Bon Iver 03:46


Side B Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Hinnom, TX
Bon Iver 02:45
2.
Wash.
Bon Iver 04:59
3.
Calgary
Bon Iver 04:10
4.
Lisbon, OH
Bon Iver 01:33
5.
Beth/Rest
Bon Iver 05:17

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