Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

BON IVER

Bon Iver

2011-07-06

FCC: Track 3 “F*ck”, 4 “F*ck”
Released: 21 June 2011
Label: Jagjaguwar

May I welcome you to one of the best records of 2011 so far? The beautiful and engrossing sophomore follow-up to Bon Iver’s critically acclaimed first album, For Emma, Forever Ago. What returns is the falsetto of Bon Iver head Justin Vernon which is just as stark and engrossing as before but with added instrumentation that actually helps fill out an already captivating sound. Whereas For Emma felt like he was literally singing only to you from his cabin in the woods giving your ears and mind a glimpse into his soul, Bon Iver gifts you a visceral response making you feel sympathy pains fom the tips of his weary toes to the ends of his brittle fingers.

The natural precursor to this album is not the 2009 Bon Iver EP, Blood Bank but actually his collaboration with post-rock masters Collections of Colonies of Bees (as Volcano Choir) which gave us the first taste of how Justin Vernon could use a full band to his advantage. And he certainly called in the favors for this album getting the amazing saxophonist Colin Stetson to play on several tracks.

Detractors of the music are going to hold up the Peter Cetera meets Bruce Hornsby sounding last track of the album “Beth/Rest” as an example of how indie rock listeners have truly gone off the deep end with liking this album but even that song has more heart than most of the albums I’ve heard in 2011.

Recommended Tracks: Calgary (8), Minnesota, WI (2)
Reviewed by Devon Cunningham

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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