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Bon Iver, Bon Iver CD

96 customer reviews

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"Beth/Rest" is the fourth single from the Grammy Award winning Bon Iver, Bon Iver. The b-side is an alternate performance of Beth/Rest recorded at Rare Book Room.

Bon Iver, Bon Iver was recorded and mixed at April Base Studios, a remodeled veterinarian's clinic located in rural Fall Creek, Wisconsin. The main recording space is constructed over a defunct indoor pool ... Read more in Amazon's Bon Iver Store

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for 6 albums, 11 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Bon Iver, Bon Iver + For Emma Forever Ago + Blood Bank
Price For All Three: £23.97

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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Jun. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: 4Ad
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,856 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

Product Description

Bon Iver is the self-titled second studio album from the band led by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon, following critically acclaimed debut For Emma, Forever Ago and the 2009 EP Blood Bank. A definite progression from the stark debut, Bon Iver was recorded in a remodelled veterinarian clinic and features the single "Calgary".

BBC Review

Whatever maudlin magic musician Justin Vernon found in the remoteness of rural Wisconsin come the close of 2006 and the dawn of 2007 - made devastatingly real on his debut LP as Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago - it's something that many another artist has been trying to conjure since. Dispatch a band into isolation today, to cajole those creative juices, and inevitably some plucky press type will label them as ""doing a Bon Iver"". The album's impact on today's indie-folk scene, and beyond, was powerful, and global commercial success was the unlikely culmination of Vernon's catharsis following the break-up of both his previous band and a relationship.

For this follow-up, Vernon and band - among them Sean Carey, whose own solo debut, We All Grow, was released to fine reviews in the summer of 2010 - have developed the sound of For Emma… without over-stretching themselves and making a mess of arrangements which are all the more effective for their striking intimacy. There must have been temptation to draft in a name producer - but Vernon sees to that side of the process too, and this control has resulted in a set that's as arresting in its first few seconds, Perth's rolling percussion providing a base for Vernon's exquisite emoting, as it is come the David Gilmour-styled guitar showmanship of closer Beth/Rest. This is how to spend an improved budget (though anything is more than nothing), and expand a sonic palette, without compromising what appealed in the first place.

To some, the consistent mood that pervades this set - of reflection, introspection; bruised and sincere, but never cloyingly so; melancholic, but not without a blurry, horizon-line optimism - might lead to attentions wandering. And there's no doubt that this eponymous collection isn't the step into immediacy that some might have expected, or even hoped for. But the majority of listeners will surely come to this aware that nothing on For Emma… leapt from the speakers with quick-fix frills attached. This - like Wild Beasts' sublime Smother, Julianna Barwick's otherworldly The Magic Place, and How to Dress Well's Love Remains - is one of the year-so-far's finest albums when it comes to repeat-play value: each spin will uncover something previously missed, a tiny but essential nuance that was obscured by a hypnotic motif the first and second time around. Vernon's songs may appear skeletal on an initial encounter; but, on closer inspection, they reveal studied layers and levels of masterful design.

There can be no doubt that certain critics will have come to this album expecting it to fall short of the precedent set by its predecessor. That it doesn't, and actually far surpasses the still-echoing resonance of that debut set, is indicative of its standing as one of 2011's most absorbing, affecting and downright brilliant LPs. It just goes to show that there's really only one act capable of "doing a Bon Iver".

--Mike Diver

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By ktvowles on 28 Aug. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Trying to describe this album is like describing what water tastes of - impossible. Clichés were thrown around my head "a masterpiece" "hand-crafted by the Gods" but nothing prepares you for Bon Iver's second album, there is nothing I can compare it to & thus it is completely unique. Justin Vernon, pure of voice, master of the guitar and songwriter like no other brings together more than just conventional folk, more than just wailing falsetto echoes, he brings depth, beauty & magnificence in just the opening bars of the epic Perth. Songs named after USA states, some real, some fictitious (Hinnom, TX). The same nonsensical but powerful lyrics from days of For Emma, Forever Ago remain. Vernon isn't about to give up what makes Bon Iver such a phenomenon. Such bredth of instruments are moulded by Vernon, such a juxtaposition from For Emma where he recorded alone in a Wisconsin cabin with a guitar as his only friend. He's struck gold with bass sax, 2 drum kits, countless guitarists, percussion galore and not forgetting layer upon layer of fautless harmony, each spine-tingling note more compelling than the previous. Star track has to be `Beth/Rest', an almost cheesy synth filled 5 minutes of perfect harmonies and general wonder make this one of my favourite tracks of 2011. If you haven't already, check out this albums and you won't regret it.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Music lover on 11 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album took me completely by surprise. I stumbled upon it via my love for Talk Talk's utterly sublime album "Spirit of Eden" and reading reviews of that which mentioned Bon Iver as having been influenced by that masterpiece.

It has just got so under my skin with its subtle musicality and Justin Vernon's natural progression from his hugely well-received debut album "for Emma, Forever Ago" - a great album too.

But this album (the "difficult 2nd album") after such a cult success, is a natural progression of the searingly honest and painful emotions that made "For Emma" so important to so many people (check the reviews). It seems to me the sound of someone who is gradually healing and there's a more uplifting, full-bodied tone to most of these songs than the purposeful melancholy of "For Emma".

Whilst "Emma" is soft and delicate and mirrors the desolate iciness of where & when it was recorded this follow-up moves a similar but more vigorous and optimistic palette to what I feel is a much higher level of artistic accomplishment. He is helped in this by the absolutely superb array of musicians he has gathered around him.

The end result is an album that is a delight. But then it grows on you. And after repeated listens all the way through (it is one of those rare beasts ) you realise that this album and artist and band are going to remain a very important part of your musical life.

I cannot recommend this highly enough. One of my favourite albums ever - and I am 56 yrs old!! Solid gold 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Red on Black TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Jun. 2011
Format: Audio CD
They say never judge a book by its cover, but before playing Bon Iver's self titled second album dig out 2008s little marvel "For Emma Forever Ago" and compare the sleeves since they say much about the music within. On the latter you will see a darkened tree covered in an icy "white out", while on his new album are greener forests and blue lakes in the middle of which lurks a small white house and to the right two large swathes of red. It's like coming out of chill albeit into early spring as opposed to blazing summer. This is reflected in the music contained on Bon Iver 2 which is a ambitious and expansive follow up by Justin Vernon to a record that's occupies a special place for lovers of music. Equally it would be wrong to suggest any sharp break here as those of you in the interim who sought out the lovely album by his drummer Sean Carey "We all grow" or Vernon's 2009 EP "Blood bank" will recognise some very familiar themes.

Here the painful honesty and isolated log cabin melancholy of "For Emma" is thoroughly downplayed (although not absent) but this remains an instantly recognisable Bon Iver record not least because of the presence of his trademark falsetto as he announces on the superb opening track "Perth" that "I'm tearing up, across your face/Move dust through the light/To find your name/It's only faint". Granted there are real gear changes all over the album and this song starts with an achingly slow electric guitar but flowers into a beast of a song with military drumming and by its close Emeralds style power chords. "Perth" segues into Minnesota WI, which is a gentle but funky track which shows that Vernon's time spent with Kanye West has paid off. The third track "Holocene" is probably the song on here that could have slipped onto "For Emma".
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M Wood on 8 April 2012
Format: Audio CD
I've just heard this for the first time, and I have to say that my mind is a little blown by it. It seems impossible to categorise this album because it simply isn't like anything I've heard previously. It gives the impression of being utterly organic, deeply rooted in nature, and unconstrained by the formulas which dictate the progression of most music. Justin Vernon has created something impulsive, impenetrable and remarkable, an album which is bottomless but without a shade of artifice. It's not a particularly easy listen, but if you have any interest in innovative music then this comes highly recommended.
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