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117 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Well damn, this is a changeup. Vernon has taken a huge (and very ballsy) step in releasing this record under the same name as 2008's brilliant For Emma, Forever Ago, which is more or less the polar opposite of this year's self-titled record. Where For Emma was a hushed set of crystalline dirges, Bon Iver is absolutely exploding with sounds and instrumentation and ideas...
Published on June 27, 2011 by Andrew Vice

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19 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This is Only My Opinion
I listened to this album for the first time a few days ago, and I could barely make it through to the end. The musicianship, intimacy and genuine emotions of "For Emma, Forever Ago", have been replaced with bland, constrained, indifferent, affected elevator music. A few moments here and there started to spark my interest for a moment, then the songs would just kind of...
Published on August 27, 2011 by Narniak


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117 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver, June 27, 2011
This review is from: Bon Iver (Audio CD)
Well damn, this is a changeup. Vernon has taken a huge (and very ballsy) step in releasing this record under the same name as 2008's brilliant For Emma, Forever Ago, which is more or less the polar opposite of this year's self-titled record. Where For Emma was a hushed set of crystalline dirges, Bon Iver is absolutely exploding with sounds and instrumentation and ideas. For Emma was the sound of a man and his guitar, pouring out his heart and purging the demons that haunt him, but Bon Iver is the logical follow-up: the purge was successful and now Vernon has a fresh heart and soul to express more than just the idea of pain and hurt. I get why For Emma fans are not necessarily huge fans of this record, but just as Burst Apart was the logical step forward from Hospice, so too is Bon Iver the progression from the cocoon of For Emma. You absolutely have to come into this record with an open mind and not expect for it to sound like For Emma, but if you can do that, you'll find Vernon's aggressive use of instrumentation and melody to be compelling and, ultimately, stellar. On Bon Iver, Vernon has shown us that he can do far more than make us cry, and he does it all so well it's almost hard to believe.
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59 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, melodic, mature music, June 30, 2011
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M. Morris (Arlington, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Some of these reviews are hilariously awesome. I love the funny stuff people say when they hate something so much! I dig the album. Gorgeous and textured. Mature and melodic. It kind of just rolls out of the speakers without you really knowing when one track ends and the next begins. The lyrics are nearly indecipherable. The song names are gibberish. Call it overproduced or whatever, but what does that really mean. It's beautiful music. His previous stuff was great too. Who cares if this is different. Don't get so attached to what you think an artist should sound like - you'll only end up disappointed. I do think the last track is a bit of a trip. Jimmy Fallon busted his chops for it - comparing it to Bruce Hornsby. I can't disagree with that simple but fairly accurate comparison. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confused by fellow reviewers, July 6, 2011
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This review is from: Bon Iver (Audio CD)
Just listened all the way through and I freakin love it!
Not sure why so many do not but I enjoyed the listening experience immensely!
I own all of his previous work and enjoyed this new offering by vernon simply because it was a bit different. And though different it still sounded very much like his own.
I say buy it and love it unless you just enjoyed the emma album b/c of it's distinct rustic sound. If you love Justin Vernon I don't see how you could be disappointed with this album.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And at once I knew I was not magnificent, June 7, 2012
This review is from: Bon Iver (Audio CD)
These songs are excellent in their own ways, but in particular I would like to call your attention to "Holocene," which is, simply put, heartbreaking. I don't have a clue what the lyrics are saying, nor do I even think Bon Iver has figured it out, but the the falling chords and the tide-like ebb tell me everything I need to know.

The fascinating thing about Bon Iver is that he doesn't "write" songs as much as let songs write themselves. He starts by humming sounds that feel right and only later does he try to fit words to those sounds. ("And at once I knew I was not magnificent / strayed above the highway aisle / jagged vacance, thick with ice[?]") The result is often mildly psychedelic and even that awful word "experimental," but it doesn't collapse under abstraction and randomness like most experimental music because it's grounded in the great progenitor of great music: feeling. It even magnifies or more directly channels feeling because it skips that whole part about trying to make sense.

Rather than putting music on paper through brute force, Bon Iver puts himself at the service of music. Rather than listening to Bon Iver, we're listening to sadness and longing themselves. To understand why this matters, you've got to close your eyes and press play.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Winter-like, February 16, 2012
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This review is from: Bon Iver (Audio CD)
I bought this album because he won best new artist at the grammys. I didn't know who he was and didn't know what to expect. I really like this. I find this album is perfect for winter. He really paints a picture with the instruments. This album is about the music, not the lyrics. The reason why I didn't give this 5 stars is because it's not exciting. It's very good, but has only one speed. Still, I find this very artistic and have played it alot in my ipod.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bon Iver (Self-Titled) is Brilliant, December 16, 2011
This review is from: Bon Iver (Audio CD)
Bon Iver makes an amazing sophomore album. It has an ambiance to it that will leave you humming for days. Bon Iver has a specific style that you have to have the right pallet for though. I would recommend listening to the album at Myspace.com/boniver first. I honesty love this album though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masterpiece, November 28, 2011
By 
dgrupe (Madison, WI) - See all my reviews
This picks up right where "For Emma" left off, but J Vernon really took it to the next level. An eclectic, delicious feast for the ears.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simply beautiful, August 11, 2011
This review is from: Bon Iver (Audio CD)
The most fitting way I can find to describe the second album from Bon Iver (a.k.a. Justin Vernon) is that it is easier experienced than explained. This is an album that is overflowing with different sounds and textures that work together beautifully to create a lush palette of emotional richness. Vernon's vocals are once again hauntingly beautiful and effortlessly convey the myraid of feelings that he is working through, be it sorrow and heartache or optimism and fulfillment. That entire spectrum is covered by music that is remarkably layered and nuanced. Each listen reveals different facets of Vernon's songwriting and his ever shifting emotional state. This is music that truly speaks to the listener. Chances are that even if you aren't able to decipher all of the lyrics of "Bon Iver", or even if you don't try, you'll still know exactly what they mean because you will feel it in your bones. That is the beauty of this remarkable record which will be remembered as one of the year's best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sneaks in when it thinks you're not listening, August 5, 2011
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This review is from: Bon Iver (Audio CD)
The good stuff. I can't always understand what Vernon is saying & the liner notes don't help much because I can't read the writing. So I just gotta go with it & be carried along. There is no one stand out track for me, just a real good entire journey from beginning to end. A natural and beautiful progression from 'For Emma' & 'Blood Bank'. Thanks Bon Iver. Do it again! do it again!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh Life, November 22, 2011
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This review is from: Bon Iver (Audio CD)
This is the most refreshing and inspiring music I've heard in years, and I'm an old guy. I first heard Bon Iver on an NPR mini concert, live at a college, I think. It was ragged, but full of life, and drew me to the CD, fantastic, and then backwards, to "For Emma," the under-produced, alone-in-the-woods, bare-bones rendering of the beautifully polished "Bon Iver" album. Buy them both and compare, Bon Iver and For Emma.
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Bon Iver
Bon Iver by Bon Iver (Audio CD - 2011)
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