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Bon Iver i, i

September 8, 2019

Bon Iver is one of the more adventurous music acts that I am a fan of. The band is impossible to assign to a genre. Is it folk, pop, rock, hip hop, electronica, ambient, jazz, chamber music, etc.? Wikipedia suggests Folktronica. Although this is a totally unique band, I hear lots of influences, for example, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Hornsby (who it turns out plays on i, i) and Prince.

Bon Iver came out of the gate with an original sound in 2007 with For Emma, Forever Ago. Over the years they have continuously improved their sound without losing originality.  i, i sound is accessible, not because the band has sold-out or watered down their art, but because they have pulled the pop world into their gravity.

Per Justin Vernon (the guiding force in the band) says this about i, i:

“It feels very much like the most adult record, the most complete,” explains Vernon. “It feels like when you get through all this life, when the sun starts to set, and what happens is you start gaining perspective. And then you can put that perspective into more honest, generous work.”

I like this album more than their last album (22, A Million). That album was a major shift from the folk sound of their prior two albums to a harsher more electronic sound. i, i sounds like the perfect reconciliation of their first two albums with 22, A Million. I guess that 22, A Million is going to sound better to my ears after i, i.

If the thought of gentle but adventurous music sounds appealing to you, I recommend you give i, i a listen.


From → Music Reviews

  1. I like Bon Iver, haven’t spent much time with the new one yet.

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