Bon Iver


Bon Iver


Jagjaguwar Records


Listener Appeal: Teens to Adults


Genre: Electro-Folk


A few summers ago, a friend of mine introduced me to Bon Iver. His album For Emma, Forever Ago captured my heart with warm falsetto vocals and rhythms driven mainly by acoustic guitar.


However, with this self-titled release, much has changed for Bon Iver - the sound is drastically different.


While the vocals are still the same warm falsetto and overall it is a mellow album, it is much more up tempo. There are lots of drums, electric guitars, and synthesizers where before there were none. It sounds much more like singer Justin Vernon’s side project Volcano Choir rather than Iver's original acoustic backwoods sound. Some may like that, some may not. But now you've been warned.


The biggest drawback to this CD for me was that there really isn’t any song that stands out as the acoustic melody I fell in love with. That being said, I have come to like this album a lot too.


The beginning song, “Perth” is particularly good. It seems to set the tone for the whole of Bon Iver. It starts out relatively slow with a catchy guitar line, and then starts to get more and more pumped up with more instruments and very cool drum rhythms. The final song “Beth/Rest” is one is worth a mention too. This song always strikes me as somewhat strange because it sounds exactly like a rock ballad straight out of the 80s. It's fused with some more modern style, but it would not be out of place on a Journey album.


One thing for parents to take note of is that there are a couple of swear words on this album, so just be sure the listeners are mature enough to handle it.


Let’s Talk About It:


If your family members are interested in this music, then encourage discussion about it afterward. You can use these questions to get started:


• This album is a change in style from the old ways. In what ways have you changed over the past few years?


• In the song “Holocene,” it is noted how seeing for miles and miles over the world makes the singer realize how little he is. How does looking out on God’s creation make you feel?




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