Oh – now he’s got a Grammy. Justin Vernon, aka Bon Iver, emerged from the woods of Wisconsin a new man. His sophomore album would take on a more refined sound and next thing you know – boom – Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album of 2012. Isn’t success just the easiest? Vernon took a more collaborative approach to his second album, enlisting help from a range of talented musicians. The scale and scope of Vernon’s productions might have upgraded but his voice, the anchoring force for all his work, is as warm and personal as ever. “Halocene” is a great example of how his voice and diction are themselves an instrument. Tracks like “Hinnom, TX” and “Minnesota, WI” show the reach with which Vernon can take his music with added production value while keeping the somber mood he so expertly exudes. The open flows and opens up over time, bringing you deeper and deeper into Vernon’s psyche and ends with the atmospheric adventure “Beth/Rest” that (out of context) sounds miles apart from his last album. Emotionally candid and self-aware, Bon Iver just wants to wrap you up and keep you warm, so just submit.
- black vinyl pressing
- gatefold sleeve
- digital download included
- music label Jagjaguwar 2011
reviewed by boumtje-boumtje 10/2014