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Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 10
Musicianship 10
Lyrics 10
Production 10
Creativity 10
Lasting Value 10
Reviewer Tilt 10
Final Verdict: 100%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.22
Musicianship 8.48
Lyrics 8.25
Production 8.7
Creativity 8.36
Lasting Value 8.27
Reviewer Tilt 8.25
Average: 84%
Inside AP.net
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.

Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Reviewed by: Drew Beringer (06/24/11)
Bon IverBon Iver, Bon Iver
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Record Label: Jagjaguwar/4AD


Oh the places you will go, Justin Vernon.

What started as a small project - under the moniker Bon Iver - in a isolated cabin located in the Wisconsin northwoods has led to Vernon selling thousands of albums, headlining numerous festivals, and smoking the stickiest of the icky with hip-hop goliaths Rick Ross and Kanye West in Hawaii. Add in various musical endeavors with Volcano Choir and Gayngs, and you'd have to suspect Vernon has accomplished more than he ever envisioned when he was heartbroken in Wisconsin.

His second full-length album, Bon Iver, Bon Iver is the result of these experiences. A more confident and trusting Vernon is present here, as he is armed with a remarkably talented full band instead of the minimalist approach he used on the debut. Together they have composed the most remarkable album of 2011.

While For Emma, Forever Ago had the focused agony of a man baring his soul, Bon Iver, Bon Iver is more vibrant – a rebirth of sorts for Vernon. The 10 tracks are an exploration of warm sounds and rich textures yet still gives off a vague ambience, thus creating some spectacular juxtapositions within the album. There's a lot to take in on Bon Iver, Bon Iver, as your senses try to process everything flowing through your speakers. Vernon has moved on from the isolation of For Emma, Forever Ago and has emerged reinvigorated on his second full length.

The inviting opener “Perth” flows with gentle guitar riffs and steadfast drum beats as it re-introduces us to Vernon's delicious falsetto. Rather than take the minimalist approach from For Emma, everything here is fleshed out a lot more, and it shows on tracks like the beautiful “Holocene.” Perhaps the front runner for best song of 2011, “Holocene” is a brassy and anguished five and a half minute adventure that showcases Vernon's grandiose voice. This track is a prime example of why Vernon had been emphasizing the full band aspect over the past few years, as saxophonist Colin Stetson and drummer S. Carey create the perfect canvas for Vernon's haunting words.

The upbeat “Towers” is bursting with scintillating electric guitars and swelling strings, while “Minnesota, WI” is a delightful fusion of folk and R&B, ranging from banjos to subtle horns. The musicianship throughout Bon Iver, Bon Iver is free-flowing and never constrictive, allowing for expansive and exploratory musicianship to take place.

Working with a full band this time has taken Vernon's vocals to a whole different level - his voice more often than not works as an additional instrument. Vernon reaches celestial heights on “Wash.” as his voice is the driving point amongst scant piano plucks and lavish strings. The elegant pop of “Calgary” contains a sharp pace that leans heavily on Vernon's restless falsetto.

Vernon and company boldly embrace 80's pop by closing with “Beth/Rest,” which may be the best song Peter Gabriel never wrote. The track is smoothly executed, and, despite being light on irony and thick on cheese, it still has that signature Bon Iver sound at its core. “Beth/Rest” destroys any preconceptions you might have had of Vernon, but after everything he has done over the past few years spanning different genres (his roles with Volcano Choir, Gayngs, and Kanye West), this type of track shouldn't come as a big surprise.

Bon Iver, Bon Iver presents a much bigger sound than previous efforts, but it still contains the same intimacy as before, as this record is just as complex as it is accessible. Throughout the 10 tracks, Vernon is creating impressions rather than making statements, with each listen leaving more and more of an impact on you. Bon Iver, Bon Iver is Vernon's triumphant re-emergence from those lonely woods back into the world.

10/10

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. Perth
2. Minnesota, WI
3. Holocene
4. Towers
5. Michicant
6. Hinnom, TX
7. Wash.
8. Calgary
9. Lisbon, OH
10. Beth/Rest
Produced by: Justin Vernon

All songs written and composed by Justin Vernon

Personnel:
Greg Calbi – mastering
Carmen Camerieri – French horn, piccolo trumpet, trumpet, trumpet (muted)
Sean Carey – bowed vibes, choir, chorus, drums, processing, vibraphone, voices
Gregory Lee Euclide – paintings
Andy Immernan – assistant engineer
Brian Joseph – engineer, mixing
Greg Leisz – pedal steel guitar
Mike Lewis – alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, saxophone
Matt McCaughan – brushes, composer, drums, snare drum, handclapping, Roland 909, synthesizer
Rob Moore – horn arrangements, string arrangements, viola, violin
Daniel Murphy – design, handwriting, layout
Mikey Noyce – voices
Jim Schoenecker – synthesizer
Colin Stetson – clarinet, flute, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, bass saxophone, saxophone
Justin Vernon – banjo, bass, choir, chorus, composer, cymbals, drums, ebo, engineer, finger cymbals, guitar, baritone guitar, electric guitar, nylon string guitar, hands, Korg M1, mixing, piano, record producer, synthesizer, tremolo, vocals
Nate Vernon – engineer
Tom Winceck – synthesizer

Bon Iver, Bon Iver lyrics

Official Website; Official Facebook Page; Official AP.net Profile; Official Twitter Account

 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 331
02:27 AM on 06/24/11
#2
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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02:33 AM on 06/24/11
#3
MyJukeboxBroke
I need a Couch
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100%? really. i dont any album could ever be 100% but this is AP and i will respect
02:35 AM on 06/24/11
#4
MyJukeboxBroke
I need a Couch
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PS: Blink 182 will BLOW this away!






:P
02:39 AM on 06/24/11
#5
blinkme
Sinatra blue
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Flawless album. Fantastic review and completely deserved score.
02:39 AM on 06/24/11
#6
jaredohgren
I'm just an artist on a shelf.
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Rating is too low.
02:40 AM on 06/24/11
#7
Joe DeAndrea
Radiosurgery
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02:42 AM on 06/24/11
#8
birtcho
is...
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Agree with the rating. Cannot possibly fault the album
02:45 AM on 06/24/11
#9
CheckeredFloors
nah
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FUCK YEAH!

x
02:48 AM on 06/24/11
kemppettyjohn
Pilot Jones, Pilot Jones
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I lol'd.

Great album. Cant wait to spend hours and hours with it.
02:52 AM on 06/24/11
bencoles
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100%?!
03:00 AM on 06/24/11
CheckeredFloors
nah
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Purposely scored it 100 in order to create mass anarchy. Good by you, Drew.

We all know the album is actually a 96/97. I mean, Hinnom, TX, what is that doing on there?
03:01 AM on 06/24/11
A Pilgrim
Destroy what you create.
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Quote:
Together they have composed the most remarkable album of 2011.

I've been listening to this since iTunes gave away some early copies and I couldn't agree with this more. Bought it today from the US iTunes store, along with the new TBS album from the aussie iTunes store.

Album of the year, for sure. I'm just not calling it that way because I'm a partial Taking Back Sunday's bitch, but deep down I'm aware this blows pretty much anything released or to be released this year out of the fuckin' water. It's not even fair.
03:03 AM on 06/24/11
fifpb99
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pitchfork is gonna have a fit
03:06 AM on 06/24/11
shrem
@Elycean
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Holy shit.
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