Feature

Bon Iver: Bon Iver

Justin Vernon follows up on his sensational 2007 debut with an ambitious second album that doesn't disappoint.

(Jagjaguwar)

***

The music that Justin Vernon records under the name Bon Iver “resists easy interpretation,” said Mark Richardson in Pitchfork.com. But that’s a “testament to its careful construction,” and this ambitious second album from the guitarist-songwriter “unfolds like a suite.” Vernon became an indie sensation following the success of his 2007 debut, a one-man-in-the-woods, mostly acoustic set. This time out, he’s “going for a Big Canvas album,” and working with a full band to achieve it, said Jess Harvell in The Village Voice. Vernon’s voice is a falsetto freighted with “romantic ennui,” and the music here mixes “lonesome ’70s country-rock, unctuous ’80s soft-rock, and faintly psychedelic ’90s art-rock.” It’s regrettable that some sharp pop hooks “get sacrificed to the music’s gently-down-the stream drift.” Still, “if you’re looking for an album to get lost in,” Bon Iver might be “the year’s best.”

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