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