Bon Iver- Bon Iver (Jagjaguwar-2011)

Drop to your knees and behold the coming revolution of indie brilliance with such natural ability as to cross over to such a brilliant collaboration as Kanye West. It be Bon Iver and you be in awe.

It’s not true though. Beware. Beware the critics praise and hearken to the criticism of the one clear ear.

What happened old friend. We spent a magnificent time together stumbling upon one another in the midst of a mix CD and Pandora’s Labyrinth with such timelessness as “Flume” and “Skinny Love.” We were so intimate. You and that off putting falsetto over the sparsest production; me eyes closed holding onto the raw emotion. It was true.

But alas, that was For Emma, Forever Ago (it seems). Our private embrace has been broken by the allure of all sorts of dials and knobs. I came to you again expecting to continue our journey but what I found is an unnatural evolution. I wasn’t ready for how you’ve changed. What would’ve been a rather pleasant journey through some sweet if predictable songs is disappointing and boring.

There’s too much production going on here. Leave all the echoes and layered instruments behind, just give me you and your catharsis. I can’t hear you for all the noise. Save for “Perth” and “Towers” with their marching snare rhythm there are not any highlights here.

In fact, “Beth/Rest” maybe one of the worst songs I’ve heard in awhile. It’s like the love child of contemporary Christian artist Michael W. Smith and Bryan Adams.

I’ll keep listening to it because I feel like there’s something there that I’ll discover eventually. It’s like any acquaintance you may have misjudged as a potentially brilliant companion; there’s still something worthwhile, it’ll just take a little longer to find it.


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