Bon Iver
Bon Iver, Bon Iver


5.0
classic

Review

by Jon Day USER (1 Reviews)
March 14th, 2013 | 21 replies | 1,333 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bon Iver's beautiful follow up to For Emma, Forever Ago which sees the band delve into soaring soundscapes with outstanding results.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

When I first announced to my friends that I was intending on buying a Bon Iver album, they all suggested that I go for the debut before the self titled. They believed that the accessibility of the first album would draw me in. However, I decided to buy Bon Iver's second release; Bon Iver.

I found this album to be so sensationally beautiful and honest, that within just a couple of listens it became one of my favourite ever albums. Throughout, the instrumentation is complex and diverse but without ever becoming over-crowded, and Justin Vernon's vocals (incomprehensible at times) simply become another instrument that blends seamlessly into the fascinating mix of melody and harmony. This mix of melody and harmony houses some of the most beautiful arrangements in music I have ever heard. Swelling string sections can appear out of nowhere to really catch the breath of the listener, whilst intimate acoustic guitar and piano parts allow one to really connect with Vernon and his lyrics.

And the lyrics - once you've read through them - are as honestly deep and touching as on 'For Emma', although maybe a little more optimistic in subject. That's not to say that there aren't moody undertones to the vocals though, and some sections of songs are so spectacularly sad that it feels as though they were written in that log cabin in solitude. Personal favourite lyrics of mine include, 'And at once I knew, I was not magnificent' from Holocene and 'I ain't living in the dark no more, that's not a promise, I'm just gonna call it' from Beth/Rest.

It's almost impossible for me to focus on individual tracks in this review, as the whole album is definitely (ready for the cliche?) a journey, and every song simply feels like a movement in an outstanding symphony. However, if I had to chose a favourite, it would have to be the final track, Beth/Rest.

Beth/Rest stands out from the rest of the album partly due to it's normality in musicality. It is one of few tracks with a continuous drum rhythm and if Bon Iver had been around in the 80s, this is how I imagine they'd have done a power ballad. The changes in structure continuously keep the listener engaged and I found myself thinking, 'oh this is surely the chorus', when really there is simply a number of 'verses' that leave you waiting for the 'chorus that never comes'. What does arrive though, is a climax of piano, synth, drums and lead guitar that round the album off in sensational style. Next to no vocals are required over this finale as the band let their instruments sing the themes of love, sadness, longing and loneliness found throughout the album in an alternative and indie style that I had never personally heard before.

Bon Iver, Bon Iver is a classic for me due to it's originality of style and it's simply gorgeous melodic and harmonic soundscapes, which when accompanied by minimalist Falsetto vocals create a musical experience that shares the same power and beauty as many classical pieces of music. 5/5.

If you found this review helpful in any way, my recommended tracks are, Perth, Holocene, Towers and Beth/Rest.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
TheNexus100
March 13th 2013



2517 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

sweet

Lakes.
March 13th 2013



26626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

yeah but for emma >>>

Digging: BABYMETAL - Babymetal

FiveLeavesLeft
March 13th 2013



9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

:D

tragic.details
March 13th 2013



624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agree with Lakes, but In the Studios >>> For Emma

breakingthefragile
March 13th 2013



2955 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hai.

Digging: The Blood of Heroes - The Blood Of Heroes

FiveLeavesLeft
March 13th 2013



9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ 2.5? The fuck? Eh, whatever... sup bro

breakingthefragile
March 13th 2013



2955 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is way too overdone, that's what's up.

FiveLeavesLeft
March 14th 2013



9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh, and...

"Apologies for my awful attempt at a first review!"

Please take this out; it makes the review look less professional. I'd recommend putting a statement
like this in the comments rather than in the review itself. Other than that, this is a pretty good
first; you definitely have a good amount of potential reviewing on the site. Just try to organize
your
thoughts a bit more, that's always a must when it comes to reviewing. Also, try to use personal
words such as "I" and "me" less. It sounds a bit too subjective with those words. You are very
descriptive though,
and I like how you word your arguments despite some unnecessary gushing. I'll pos :3

fromtheinside
March 14th 2013



17999 Comments


Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Digging: Transcending Bizarre? - The Serpent's Manifolds

FiveLeavesLeft
March 14th 2013



9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

SO MANY BON IVERS

breakingthefragile
March 14th 2013



2955 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Bonbon Iver

FiveLeavesLeft
March 14th 2013



9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bon Ivory

J0ckstrapsFTW
March 14th 2013



3652 Comments


Great album

tommygun
March 14th 2013



24414 Comments


eh

Digging: The National - Cherry Tree

Douglas
March 14th 2013



9096 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I bone her at the fair

Digging: James Vincent McMorrow - Post Tropical

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 14th 2013



21778 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album rules

BigPleb
March 14th 2013



35833 Comments


goes hard

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 14th 2013



10056 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Album's enjoyable, if a bit underwhelming.

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

Cygnatti
March 14th 2013



21350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I dun like folk (at all) but album goes very hard

BigPleb
March 14th 2013



35833 Comments


Riffs are intricate



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