Bon Iver – Listen & Review
“Beth/Rest,” the closing song on Bon Iver, is an absolutely diabolical bit of provocation. A plodding tangle of electric keyboards and guitar solos, the track seems at first as if its title ought to include the parenthetical, “Love Theme From Tequila Sunrise 2.” Bon Iver singer-songwriter Justin Vernon has compared “Beth/Rest” to the best-known work of Bruce Hornsby, and his appreciation is utterly sincere: The very opposite of an ironist, he boldly opts to close his massively anticipated new album with sounds 25 years out of style.
Bon Iver is a grand, chance-taking record: It sheds the raw nerviness of 2008’s perfect For Emma, Forever Ago and replaces it with arrangements so lush and vivid, it can be hard to make out much of what Vernon sings. Out June 21, the whole record dares to be dreamy, and to let Bon Iver’s ever-growing backing band paint pictures while Vernon’s words dissipate into the ether. Most of these 10 songs induce gasps at one point or another, for any number of reasons: from the forceful jolt of an orchestral boomlet, the delicate shhhhhinnnnng of finger cymbals, or an impeccable bit of vocal phrasing by Vernon, who can still make seemingly slight inflections hit like punches. From NPR.ORG
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