- Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
CRITIC SCORE
85
Based on 27 reviews
2011 Rank: #8 / 857
USER SCORE
87
Based on
421 ratings

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Amazon
iTunes
Apple Music
Spotify

CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Skinny

In facing great expectations, Vernon has simply turned and walked away from the legacy of his debut; rather than attempt to emulate the intimate cabin fever of that album, he has crafted an expansive and ambitious piece – a compelling listen from start to finish.

95
Pitchfork

After the closeness and austerity of For Emma, Vernon has given us a knotty record that resists easy interpretation but is no less warm or welcoming.

91
A.V. Club

For all its introspection, Bon Iver feels a lot more open than Vernon’s previous work, the sound of a lonely guy taking his first steps into a larger world.

90
Paste

It retains the beautiful melancholy of For Emma, but in nearly every way, it’s just more. More layered, more diverse, more interesting.

90
Consequence of Sound

The album is a shoo-in for being a timeless great, no matter what we say.

87
Beats Per Minute

It’s a rich and intricate collage that shows restraint in its cascade of ideas as well as Vernon’s maturity as a songwriter.

80
musicOMH

Those who approach Bon Iver with open minds and open ears will with repeated listens find that Vernon has not strayed too far from his original raison d'etre.

80
Drowned in Sound

Justin Vernon and his crew have changed things up here for sure, but the results are every bit as beautiful as you might expect.

80
Tiny Mix Tapes

It is undeniably an album about “growth,” and it has a way of pushing you out of your comfort zone.

80
No Ripcord

Bon Iver embarks on a sustainable new direction for the band and is evidence of a successful transition from one-off wonder to durable outfit.

80
Under The Radar

It's a logical progression from Emma, and one that few artists have been able to make. Most try to return to their wallowing, to mine the same material that connected them with their audience in the first place. But Vernon deserves tremendous credit for wanting to express his hope and his joy.

80
American Songwriter

Vernon’s taken the ingredients that made For Emma transcend its bedroom folkie origins and fly – the hushed, multi-tracked falsetto vocals, the indelible melodies, the evocative, heartbroken lyrics – and expanded upon them.

80
Slant Magazine

For much of Bon Iver, Vernon takes his cues from Volcano Choir, using an array of disparate instrumentation and looping effects to beautifully eerie effect.

80
Clash

It makes these ten tracks slightly less immediate, but just as moving. A wonderful, worthy follow-up.

80
Alternative Press

The project is no longer shackled to the minimal, one-man strum of For Emma, but it's all the more beautiful and heart-rending. 

75
The 405

It is still a very good album, with some pretty songs, but it lacks For Emma, Forever Ago's sense of balance – of completeness.

70
Rolling Stone

The ideas on Bon Iver — Colin Stetson's shimmery horn parts, Rob Moose's elegant arrangements — are engaging even when they don't lead anywhere, and the music is beautiful, even when it veers into schmaltz.

60
PopMatters

Despite its hype, its expectations, its blown up sound, and its many production flourishes, Bon Iver is nothing more than a solid placeholder album.

50
AllMusic

Though he can be praised for not just copying himself and trying to progress, to be honest, For Emma, Pt. 2 would have been far more satisfying than this overblown debacle.

JFulfy
100
Every single song is a masterpiece and unique. Justin Vernon's voice is so unique and so defined. I always come back to this album because it is the best when it comes to albums as a whole. Every song has a story also that YOU as the listener can create. You take what you are hearing, and make it your own. The best ones for me is Wash, Halocene, and Towers.
70
The music itself is quite good hence the 70/100.
uralberk
90
-2011 AOTY #3-

Emma work was an internal bleeding. This is rather a nuclear explosion with shining, raising and expanding.
thelesliesaga
NR
This was my favorite album of 2011. It's been on my regular rotation since then.
Raincoat
67
Bon Iver's second effort starts out strong but has a noticeable quality drop around the halfway point, where the issues that loom over all of his work become all the more noticeable and all the more irritating.

Highlights: "Towers", "Wash"
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END OF YEAR LISTS
# 3 - A.V. Club
# 2 - Amazon
# 15 - American Songwriter
# 9 - BBC
# 7 - Bigger Than The Sound
# 26 - Clash
# 2 - Consequence of Sound
# 11 - DIY
# 12 - Drowned in Sound
# 2 - FILTER
# 13 - MAGNET
# 16 - MOJO
# 5 - musicOMH
# 46 - NME
# 6 - No Ripcord
# 37 - Obscure Sound
# 20 - One Thirty BPM
# 1 - Paste
# 9 - Pazz and Jop
# 1 - Pitchfork
# 2 - PopMatters
# 8 - Prefix
# 4 - Pretty Much Amazing
# 4 - Q Magazine
# 21 - Rolling Stone
# 7 - Slant
# 14 - SPIN
# 8 - Spinner
# 3 - Stereogum
# 17 - The Fly
# 5 - The Guardian
# 18 - The Line of Best Fit
# 9 - Uncut
# 3 - Under the Radar
Track List
  1. Perth 
  2. Minnesota, WI 
  3. Holocene 
  4. Towers 
  5. Michicant 
  6. Hinnom, TX 
  7. Wash. 
  8. Calgary 
  9. Lisbon, OH 
  10. Beth/Rest
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