I think sometimes what happens with End of the Year Lists is we all want to be different. I am not ashamed to say that I take a little pride in having records on my list that nobody else has. That's just part of the scavenger mentality of being a music fan in the digital age. This year that might not be as true as in the past, but it is something I certainly think about. But I guess at the end of it, the driving force behind these lists are things that we liked. And sometimes, the things we like, and the things that a lot of people like, are the same. When Bon Iver' first album became a hit, I was pretty shocked. Now, obviously, I'm not. It's kind of like how a band name is weird the first time you hear it. No matter what. But then you hear it and it's all like, oh yeah, of course they are called The Receiving End of Sirens. Duh!
Weird digressions aside, Bon Iver was perhaps the record I was most afraid would fail me (like that's somehow a thing). What I mean is that For Emma, Forever Ago kind of knocked me on my booty. I liked folk music a lot at that point, but this was something different. And so I also knew that once this guy was thrust into fame, his music would obviously be different. Maybe even disingenuous. But Bon Iver is very sincere and very relatable in many ways. "Perth" and "Holocene" and even "Beth/Rest" all carry very distinct viewpoints and slice-of-life-isms. But the way they are delivered, with build-ups and falsettos and sometimes even electronics/horns, make each song standalone yet crucial to the building blocks of Justin Vernon's always interesting worldview. Bon Iver made Justin Vernon a star for real, despite what people were calling him before. And I can't really wait to see how he continues onward and upward.