Drive Time music review – Bon Iver’s Bon Iver

Bon Iver

Bon Iver

Today on Drive Time music reviews I’m am going to take a listen to Bon Iver’s self titled sophomore CD, Bon Iver.

Bon Iver (mainly singer/songwriter Justin Vernon) has been blessed with 4 Grammy Award nominations – best alternative album, song of the year (Holocene), record of the year (Holocene), and best new artists, so I had to find out what the buzz was all about.  Unfortunately I’m still wondering.

Don’t get me wrong, the album is diverse musically such as horns that remind me of Bruce Hornsby or Dave Matthews and reverb synthesizer in the song Hinnom, TX.  But while some critics call Vernon’s vocals as wide ranging, the only significant change I heard in his voice on the whole album was on Hinnom, with the rest of the albums’ vocals similar to Ben Bridwell from the group Band of Horses or Chris Martin from Coldplay.  The key song on the album and the one with two Grammy nominations – Holocene – is decent but a song that would be at home on half a dozen other alternative albums.  My favorite song, Perth, is a little more oomph to it and moves a little faster and forceful than the other songs (which could almost be called soundscapes in some instances).  As for the lyrics – they’re okay for alternative music but I just don’t “feel” them like some of the records I have recently listened to.

Justin Vernon - Bon Iver

Bon Iver's Justin Vernon

In short, I don’t hate this record but none of the songs will make my heavy rotation list.  I will admit it is a very creatively, orchestrally constructed album, but the overall sound of the record isn’t anything I haven’t heard recently from other bands such as Local Natives or Band of Horses. 

Here is the video for “Holocene” here.  Let me know what you think – do you agree or think I’m full of it?

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