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Bon Iver by Bon Iver

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Reviewed on 8th August 2011.


Bon Iver

By Bon Iver

When I first heard that Bon Iver were bringing out a new album (entitled 'Bon Iver'), I did not really know whether to be happy or not. I didn't want to be disappointed after playing 'For Emma, Forever Ago' so frequently due to its sheer beauty and elegance and I cannot deny that is it my favourite album of all time. I waited for the release date, refusing to listen to a single song off the album until it had arrived through my letter box, I felt that I owed it to such a wonderful songwriter. To be honest, I didn't need to worry, because 'Bon Iver' is equally as beautiful as 'For Emma, Forever Ago', however in a contrastingly different way to Bon Iver's debut. An album which is nearly four years in the making, in which Bon Iver have musically matured and explored a new realm of music, introducing drums, electric guitars and synthesizers to create something which is so special.

The new album lacks a story behind it, this time there is no girl or a lone log cabin in the wilderness, and neither is Vernon recovering from ill health and there is less of the hurt and angst reflected in 'For Emma, Forever Ago'. However, Bon Iver still maintain the dreamy and compelling nature of their music which creeps into your ears, so elegantly and so effortlessly.

The opening track 'Perth' and its military style drumming exposes Justin Vernon's signature voice, as haunting as ever, a voice which I cannot help but adore. 'Holocene', the third track on the album is the most similar to the acoustic majority on 'For Emma, Forever Ago' and unarguably it contains the most devastating lyric on the album, "And at once I knew/ I was not magnificent.". This is reflective of the harsh critique that Vernon throws upon himself, and yet even though we are not told exactly what Vernon's discovery is, one cannot help but consider the failures they have experienced in life, something that Vernon can so easily cause a listener to do, a reflection of our weakness and the way that they can be turned into strengths with determination and self belief. 'Calgary' was the first album track released from the album, and it is certainly amongst the best on the album, a grower which needs a second listening before its blossoming complexity can be truly felt.

Bon Iver's 'Bon Iver' unveils emotions which so easily find a place inside you, as though they are your own. It is simply beautiful.



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