CD review: Bon Iver, Bon Iver

The gods of indie-folk are back and they shall be praised. Bon Iver’s eponymous second album, Bon Iver, is a stroke of genius and we can’t expect anything less.

Bon Iver has reached some considerable popularity within the last few years for being one of the few bands that consider themselves part of the folk genre to reach the mainstream. They have since reached constant success, their last album For Emma, Forever Ago reaching widespread critical acclaim. Part of their success comes from their ability to reach every demographic. Their work on the soundtrack for the sequel to Twilight had fourteen-year-old girls humming “Skinny Love” on the bus and waxing melancholy. Bon Iver’s last collaboration was with Kanye West on the tracks “Monster” and “Lost in the World” for his album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, in which the band was praised for being part of the reason behind the album’s phenomenal success.

Bon Iver is good. It’s great. It is almost maddeningly ambitious, incorporating elements of heavy metal, jazz and old rock into their usually mellower sound. You can hear them reaching for the core of music and, quite possibly, you feel them get there. Artists like Bon Iver often are stuck between a rock and a hard place. When you release your first album and that album is For Emma, Forever Ago and your first single is “Skinny Love” and Kanye West actually seems to have room in his inflated ego to fit praise for you, you are stuck. You simply cannot have an okay album. I would be scared if I was Bon Iver.

But somehow, they did it. I cannot find one single thing I disliked about Bon Iver. By George, they did it.

4 ½ stars out of 5