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Bon Iver - Bon Iver Track-by-Track (Review)

Updated on August 31, 2014
Bon Iver's cover is as hauntingly beautiful as the album itself!
Bon Iver's cover is as hauntingly beautiful as the album itself! | Source

There is something haunting about this guy! The moment he released Skinny Love everyone knew he will deliver great things! And he even surpassed it, he has delivered a masterpiece!!!

The thought that he has been recording alone in a cabin in the woods actually put more effects when you listen to his songs. The overall ambiance of the album reminds you of going outside, to the green grass, up above the mountain, through the hills with the thick forests and the water downstream! He managed to put visual importance of that forest cabin through his songs, for that he must be applauded.

Listen to his debut album:

From Perth to Michicant or should I Say Michigan?

Perth - the beauty of Bon Iver's songs are hidden within its lyrics. They're like poems that needed to be deciphered in a subjective preference. Starting off the album with guitar riffs and stale drum beats, Perth is most likely about rebirth and remembering someone you love! "Still alive who you love" probably means that keeping the memory of someone you love is like keeping them alive in your heart!

Minnesota, WI - I love the fact that he's making places as song titles! The obvious thing that is different in this song is that he's actually singing with his normal voice. The odd thing about him is that he keeps whispering even though he could actually sing it without trying hard and making lyrics hard to understand. "Never gonna break" he repeatedly sings for desperation, never let go my friend!

Holocene - perhaps the best song of the album, and for me, the best song of all time. It's hauntingly beautiful and captive production is the perfect combination for a beautiful masterpiece. There are parts when you feel the somber moments of your life and there are parts when you feel like you're the greatest person alive. I love how everyone has a different opinion about the lyrics! Some said it's about connectedness of people spanning 10,000 years, some said it's about finding maturity and some said it's about feeling small in this big world yet still thankful he's part of something! That's the beauty of the song, you need to find your own meaning, listen to this countless of times and you'll have a different perspective of your life!

Towers - catchy guitar rhythms welcome this song. And when you thought it's an upbeat song, he started singing to what feels like a midtempo! This is such a perfect music when you're walking alone, earbuds in your earlobes and just appreciate everything around you! Go hike into the mountain and when you're at the top, feel like a tower! But when you look at the lyrics, it's about love, feeling blissful and everything that connects to it!

Michicant - this started off slow, and then it builds up into something wonderful. Perhaps one of the most melancholic songs of the album. Justin Vernon himself said it's about all the things you can't do in Michigan. The first line, "I was unafraid, I was a boy, I was a tender age" is such a surreal realization of our childhood and how we're always ready to face everything!

The bearded man that records alone in the woods.
The bearded man that records alone in the woods. | Source

Buy and listen to this album now:


From Hinnom, TX to the Rest!

Hinnom, TX - the title sounds like a real place in Texas but mind you, it doesn't exist. I'm afraid you'll want to go there once you have listened to the whole masterpiece, so I guess I should tell you first it is not real! This hauntingly beautiful piece of music is supported with little instruments as possible. The first time you listen to this you might say, "Is this a song?" and the answer is, "Yes, it is. You'll find it's beauty once you really go inside it!" I could not decipher the lyrics, but one person told me the meaning of the word "Hinnom" is "land without laws" or it could be contextualized as "hell" so yes, there's something creepy about this song.

Wash. - beautiful piano break started this beautiful song. Justin said in an interview it could be about the Washington state, but it could also be March rains in Eau Claire which was the snow away. The funny thing is that there's a period in it. He was born in Eu Claire and the lyrics seemed to be living your life the way you want it and doing what you want to do amidst what the society tells you.

Calgary - now this one's a real place isn't it? Probably one of the highlights of the album. The piano seems so somber behind the haunting vocals. Makes you think for one minute, how sad must he be when he was recording this, all alone in the woods and then there you got it, you will find the beauty of this another masterpiece! That's when the drums started kicking in. It's a story about love and contentment and sooner or later, you'll realize you're loving this song more than you 2 minutes ago!

Lisbon, OH - a 93 second break, perhaps to get ready for the final piece that will blow your mind away. The pacing for Calgary and the last song is perfect, with this being added right in the middle of both.

Beth/Rest - the only ballad I consider in the album. The entrance is quite beautiful, it sets you in a somber mode yet it seems like a happy tone. Without words yet, it seems like go think about your life and reminisce those beautiful moments, be happy! There is so much beauty in this song, the way it is written is like a poem written by a celebrated poet. "Errant heat to the star, and then the rain let in." is just an example of how brilliantly written this song is. It's a timeless piece of music and I saw a lot of people talking about the 80's! But this song definitely goes on forever. It's one of those songs that will never age despite it being overplayed!

The Grammy Winner!

Bon Iver with his two Grammy's for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Album
Bon Iver with his two Grammy's for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Album | Source

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One Last Note

See, Justin Vernon or Bon Iver might have had a hard time recording something in a forest cabin, but all his efforts were paid. Perhaps the sound of nature and the idea of being lonely made him inspired to create such magnificent pieces! This album will be regarded as one of the highlights of Alternative Music. After its release, it have not charted high but it received great accolades from different music critics. Putting the album at the top of their "Best Album of the Year" and "Best Album of the Decade, So Far!" made this infamous album worth a lot of listens and deciphering too. Bon Iver managed to grab two Grammy Awards after this album too, a Grammy for Best New Artist which signifies he really is an artist to watch and a Grammy for Best Alternative Album and fair enough, this is certainly the best Alternative Album this world has yet offered! A solid 10/10 record from me.

If you think that I had encouraged you to buy this album after reading my review, then I suggest you should really take a listen. If you're not a fan of Alternative Music then you'll have a hard time digesting this kind of music. But who knows? This one could be the gateway for you to actually love such wonderful genre!

Watch Bon Iver in Action!


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      Jessalyn 3 years ago

      You get a lot of respect from me for writing these helpful aritcles.