What set Bon Iver’s first album apart from others was its ability to find a place deep in the heart of its listeners. It was music that reminded them of where they were when they first heard it. I was driving slowly past Fistral Beach in Newquay with a Swedish girl who is now my girlfriend. See it just happened to me! It begs the question…How can Justin Vernon/Bon Iver recapture this magic? Surely he couldn’t do it again…
Well all I can say is prepare for the best album you will have heard this year.
It begins with a pleasant reminder of the ghostly, layered harmonies and soulful melodies that was so synonymous with the first album. There is a heavier use of percussion in the first few tracks that sounds like a theatrical piece depicting a battle scene, not to dissimilar to PJ Harvey’s approach to ‘Let England Shake’. The military sound dies away beautifully on ‘Halocene’, intertwined with Vernon’s effervescent voice.
The album progressed into playful melodies that lean slightly outside of the usual, and touch on more ‘poppier’ hooks that have positive inflections. Michicant is the climax of the album, so full of emotion and enchanting sounds that it’s hard to continue through the album without restarting this track at least twice more.
It needless to say that album follows through to the end beautifully and as naturally as if the tracks have been destined to proceed one another. The music is timeless and I truly believe it will be preferred to the first album by many. It feels unbelievable to say that, but you have to hear this album.