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Bon Iver

4.2 out of 5 stars 290 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Bon Iver's Bon Iver is Justin Vernon returning to former haunts with a new spirit. The reprises are there – solitude, quietude, hope and desperation compressed – but always a rhythm arises, a pulse vivified by gratitude and grace notes. The winter, the legend, has faded to just that, and this is the new momentary present. The icicles have dropped, rising up again as grass.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 21, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Jagjaguwar
  • ASIN: B004XE0P5E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (290 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,417 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andrew Vice on June 27, 2011
Format: 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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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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Format: Vinyl
A lot of people are not going to like this album. It was a shock for me at first, expecting a For Emma Forever Ago (FEFA) duplicate. I think the success of FEFA was in the lyrics. Don't get me wrong, the sound was perfect, but what really made it a masterpiece were the lyrics. Bon Iver, Bon Iver (incorrectly listed as just "Bon Iver" by Amazon) is somewhat the opposite. The lyrics are still phenomenal, but it's the sound that takes this one home.

Long story short, I've spent about $40 on this album (first buying the MP3 version on iTunes, then the album version to take to a show [that never got signed in the end], and then just now purchasing it on Vinyl). Bon Iver is an acquired taste but it truly is a masterpiece. I feel as though this album could carry me through every high and low of my life. It will forever be one of my favorite albums, if not the favorite. It's not for the casual listener who wants something catchy. But if you're looking for an experience, a Van Gogh of music, something to fill the void, this is it.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I absolutely love the album and the story it tells as a whole. Bon Iver offers a really nice vibe. The reason I gave it a 4 star is because I got it on vinyl and the pressing isn't good. I ended up looking around to see if other people noticed it too, and I found that they have had the same problems with the vinyl version of this album. I definitely recommend the album, just not on vinyl.
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