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Monday, 4 July 2011



From 'Bon' to 'Grande'.

Following the cult and critical success of their classic debut 'For Emma, Forever Ago', Justin Vernon and his indie-folk band Bon Iver return for a self-titled release that looks and sounds like art, as this albums dedication shows just how deep their devotion for music really is.

Originally penned as 'Letters for Marvin', 'Bon Iver' won't be returned to sender, this is note perfect. Already well received (it hit number 2 on the American billboard charts and 4 in the U.K. charts) this may just be the album of the year. As deep and remote as the log-cabins that you could find Vernon in, this album has a calm, chilled feel that evokes introspective and inspiring elements. On his embark Vernon names tracks after various places in the world, whilst exploring the musical landscape like the indie Kanye West, (a man whom shared a 'Monster' collaboration with Iver).

'Perth' is the perfect opener, as Bon Iver go up and under for an epic track that really is one of the best. This blends in seamlessly with the magnificent 'Minnesota WI' as Bon Iver crosses tracks and time-zones. Exploring more vocal arrangements Vernon lets us hear that his vocal instrument really is dynamic, almost jazz-feeling in it's tone-shifting constant change.

The flux continues with the beautiful 'Holocene', the uprising 'Towers' and the atmospheric 'Michicant'. The album really takes us away on 'Hinnom, TX' as the music gets more experimental and for that fact more exciting. Then musical purity pours out of 'Wash.', while 'Calgary' sweeps us away. A song as vast and awe-inspiring as Canada, the country the songs namesake is a part of.

The journey isn't over however as we go to 'Lisbon OH' for more beauty, but this time of the instrument kind. Then it almost sounds like we are taken back to the eighties with the finale 'Beth/Rest', which lays this album down perfectly in it's sublime simplicity. As our musical trip with 'Bon Iver' comes to an end we really have gone far in just over a half-hour. This encompassing piece goes further musically then it's predecessor, raising the bar for any next-comer who desires to take their musical craft to a finer, artistic point. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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