Bon Iver: Bon Iver Review (Five Takes)

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29 Responses

  1. Adam Bubolz says:

    Five takes and you all really like it? Booooring, guys

  2. Josh says:

    Sixth take: Adam Bubolz= Two Thumbs Down

  3. Adam Bubolz says:

    I haven’t heard it yet, so I won’t judge

    p.s. For future reference, I would have said “More like Bore Iver”

  4. Adam Bubolz says:

    I’ll be here all week. Possibly longer. Don’t forget to tip your bartenders.

  5. jonbehm says:

    what iver dude

  6. Hey Adam, there’s 4 really good songs here “Minnesota, WI”, “Towers”, “Hinnom, TX”, and “Calgary” . That’s like damn good alone.


  7. Adam Bubolz says:

    I am seriously going to actually check the record out yet

  8. solace says:

    Minnesota, WI is def my fave track…

  9. zoe says:

    hahahaha “what iver dude”

  10. Bad Winter says:

    Not to start out on the down, but since (almost) all of you started on the up:

    Beth/Rest is pretty much combining the most contrived moments from bad 80s/90’s songs; Calgary isn’t far behind in this department. This album has some strong points, but some of these tracks are plain awful. I’m kind of hoping that Beth/Rest is a practical joke. Can’t believe some people like it. What is there to like? Shitty 80s Melodrama? Yuck.

    Listen to that horrible sax, and those ridiculous guitars. What the hell? They don’t fit. They could fit, but the sound of them would need to change. And before you tell me I don’t get it, I do. I understand why people like it. I just think they’re wrong.

    And really? Calgary falls under “really good” for you? Why?

    The start of that song is basically just Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”, which is not a good thing. Calgary overuses synth in the worst ways. The saving grace of that track (and most of the album) is S. Carey’s drums (the sound and the beats). They have really come a long way since For Emma.

    Calgary sounds scattered, as if it is lost, and not by choice.

    I was hoping for some growth that I liked from Bon Iver; I’m really sad to say that most moments I find myself enjoying on this album are the moments akin to For Emma. Bummer.

    The album is all over the place. It has moments of beauty (the bridge of Towers being one) and excellent production spots (the golf clap on Holocene is freaky gorgeous and really well done), but for every spot that the album shines, it seems to have twice as many spots cropping up (mostly on the last three tracks) that are offensive, ugly and/or ridiculous.

    Not that anyone asked, but I’d give this album a 6.5/10 at best. At times it lacks a positive cohesive direction, and it strives to reach avant-garde–not that avant-garde is bad, but you can HEAR that it is striving– which is annoying, and makes the work feel cheap.

    All that said, the first track through the seventh are good tracks. I honestly think the album should end after Wash and I’m secretly hoping it will upon release, because the last three tracks are almost painful to listen to.

  11. jonbehm says:

    Haha, “Bad Winter.” Ouch

    I definitely hear what you are saying (though I don’t agree with all of it). I don’t think that the 80’s soft rock is as egregious as maybe you think (though its definitely there). I think Vernon generally does a nice job of not being too derivitive, largely by including more complex and well-done instrumentation than you will hear on anything by Cyndi Lauper and her ilk.

    Yeah, enjoyment of it will probably depend in a large part on your patience for this sort of sound. And I agree with you that some of it isn’t great. I do think there is some really good stuff going on in this record though – more than a 6.5 anyway.

    Maybe solace will come back and offer a more spirited defense of this – I have a feeling he probably feels more strongly about it than I do.

  12. Adam Bubolz says:

    From the little I listened, the random soft rock elements were kind of distracting

  13. solace says:

    not directed at you Adam, moreso Bad Winter…

    even if you don’t’ dig the “soft rock elements”, anyone who disses Mike Lewis or Colin Stetson’s saxophone playing as “terrible” is a bit misguided imo… just my .02

    but like Jon said, if it wasn’t for Beth/Rest I wouldn’t really hear much 80’s vibe at all on here (sure there’s some Talk Talk influence, but that doesn’t necessarily equate sounding 80’s always)

    anywho… i’ve followed Justin since his first few shows at the Nucleus in EC as Bon Iver (and i know Jon was at one as well), and i’ve enjoyed watching him blow up and explode into what he has become.

    do i love every single thing he does? of course not. do i still enjoy the hell out of this album and find some incredible beauty that i found in For Emma? you bet. that’s all that real matters to me.

    can’t wait for the Milwaukee shows, his new live lineup is amazing.

    also, as far as sax goes… the latest Destroyer has even more cheesy 80’s sax all over it than this album, and i love the hell out of that album too :/

  14. solace says:

    also, Bad Winter… you say:

    “The saving grace of that track (and most of the album) is S. Carey’s drums (the sound and the beats). They have really come a long way since For Emma.”

    you do realize that Sean didn’t play on For Emma right?

    he asked to join Bon Iver quite a bit after the album was finished.

    Justin played all the instruments on For Emma minus the horns (John DeHaven on trumpet and Randy Pingrey on trombone) and the drums on Flume (Christy Smith)

  15. Bad Winter says:

    In no way did I “diss” the playing of the instruments, you should read more carefully. I’ve stated that they don’t fit. They sound contrived and full of cheese ( and no, not literally full of cheese). That said, your “.02 cents” does not apply, they’re fine players. I don’t like how they were used, and I don’t like how they were mixed.

    You don’t hear any 80s on Calgary? Really? I will admit that perceptions of reality are just as subjective as taste, but man… from Calgary on is like a time-warp in the worst way.

    I wasn’t writing to attack anyone’s subjective thoughts on the album. These reviews (save for parts of Jon’s) seemed a little light on the critical side of the album; since Bon Iver has shown us what he (they) can do (For Emma), I’m holding him to a high standard.

    The album is good. 6.5-7/10 good, but it has plenty of bad flowing in it, and it certainly pales a bit compared to his first release for me. Whether or not that is due to the direction he is going, the unexpected freshness that was For Emma, or some other reason, I cannot say (though I lean towards the direction he is going).

    No, I wasn’t aware that S. Cary didn’t play on For Emma, that kind of explains why I feel like the drums have come such a long way, huh? Thanks for pointing that out, it lends credit to my statement.

    I guess if you love cheesy 80s sax, you and I are just going to disagree about a lot of musical things, and that’s fine. I’m trying to learn to level more and more with the idea of subjective taste.

  16. solace says:

    fair enough, i guess i was reading a bit more into it.

    have you heard the Gayngs album? i can’t see anyone who heard that record being TOO surprised by the 80’s vibe on Beth/Rest or other parts of the album.

    i guess for me i just am not even going to compare the album to For Emma, that album will alway shave a special place for me for various reasons, but on a musical merit level, i find this new one much more impressive and rewarding.

    def one of my fave things i’ve heard this year

  17. solace says:

    oh, and the other reason i don’t feel they’re all that worthy of comparison, is because that was written 100% by Justin and nearly recorded/performed 100% by him as well.

    this album has 4 core members who share writing credits and a plethora of guest musicians.

  18. Josh says:

    Pitchfork has spoken, and you are all wrong. It is a 95.

  19. Jeremy Hovda says:

    It’s just comforting to know that I was only 3 points away from the Absolute Truth.

  20. jonbehm says:

    And Pitchfork hath spake the word unto its subjects, and the word was good

  21. Adam Bubolz says:

    I still haven’t listened to this

  22. Matt says:

    Pumped to see him play. The album keeps getting better with repeated listens.

  23. josh says:

    Luckily he isn’t using his fame to prop up bullshit companies like Urban Outfitters and Best Buy….oh wait.

  24. Adam Bubolz says:

    turns out I didn’t like this album

  25. jonbehm says:

    Please remember to turn in your Wisconsin state badge before exiting the scene

  26. Adam Bubolz says:

    I’m more Wisconsin than this record

  27. Miffed with fragmented sentences and misplaced commas says:

    You sure like the word innocuous, Jonny Boy!

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