This is an absolutely outstanding album, dubbed by many as the album of 2011 by a band who are only into their second effort. Bon Iver is a band founded by the singer-songwriter Justin Vernon, and he has Michael Noyce, Sean Carey and Matthew McCaughan alongside him. Together they make some of the most touching music I have heard. This is not usually the genre I listen to, it’s much softer, much more emotional, and I love it.
Right from the first song, Perth, one can tell that this is going to be a great album, but it is not just great, it is unique. Vernon’s voice is incredible throughout and it is so different to anything else I’ve heard. It is difficult to find the words to describe this relatively brief collection of songs, but I dare say the word inspiring isn’t a poor start. The musicianship is kept quiet throughout but don’t allow this to make the album seem weak, the harmony of the strings, horns, and of course Vernon’s voice itself, is fantastic, and the lyrics to every song, especially the most popular single – Holocene – are moving.
The last song, Beth/Rest, is an abnormality in this album, with a completely different feel to it. I’m afraid I don’t really understand why it is part of the CD, and I think it detracts from the overall quality of the album. This song is why I wouldn’t give the album a perfect rating.
I have only just discovered this Vernon’s work, but I feel I will carry on following it for many years to come. This album is a beautiful construction, worth every penny, and I thoroughly recommend it if you are a fan of folk, indie or acoustic music. Or, failing that, any genre of music! It’s difficult not to be transfixed by stand out tracks such as Holocene and Towers, as well as the rest of the brilliant album of course.