"Bon Iver, Bon Iver" by Bon Iver

Bon Iver
Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Jagjaguwar
2011

Review

When asked by friends to describe Bon Iver's music, I usually have to say something like, "Well, take TV On The Radio and make them white, then slow the music down and subtract the funk." That isn't a knock against them. In fact, I honestly and truly love this album so very much. But with a description like that, you have to know that this isn't going to be everybody's cup of tea. This is decidedly downtempo music to genuflect with. This is more about setting a mood than it is to Rock your socks off.

I've probably listened to this album more than nearly any other album this year. It grabbed me from the first listen. "Perth" and "Minnesota, WI" are hypnotic to me. I especially love listening to those tracks late on night, usually on the drive home after a particularly exhausting day.

A good friend of mine remarked that Bon Iver's music was "too sleepy" for them. I understand that totally (which makes sense because he's a huge fan of Funeral Party - who I would put as the complete opposite of Bon Iver).

I didn't really know what these guys were singing about at first. It really didn't matter. I'd say I got the vibe. Then later when I knew what they were saying, it didn't change my opinion of the songs at all (if you want to know what they are saying, you can check here).

So where does this album falter? Well, for me the first half of it was simply flawless. I would say that the later tracks don't hold my attention as much as the earliest ones and there is one song that is too happy for Bon Iver to be singing. I like them a bit more melancholy. But this was easily one of my favorite albums of 2011.

4.444 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. Perth (04:22) 5
2. Minnesota, WI (03:54) 5
3. Holocene (05:38) 5
4. Towers (03:10) 5
5. Michicant (03:47) 5
6. Hinnom, TX (02:47) 3
7. Wash. (05:00) 4
8. Calgary (04:12) 4
9. Lisbon, OH (01:33)
10. Beth/Rest (05:16) 4