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Bon Iver - I, i - LP -

Price per Unit (stuk): €36.95

On his fourth album, Justin Vernon reassembles the familiar Bon Iver elements like a cubist collage, with his voice fearlessly front and center. The result is his most honest and forthright music ever.
has always been Justin Vernon’s escape route. After retreating to the woods of Wisconsin to record For Emma, Forever Ago, he drew a surrealist roadmap of the United States on Bon Iver, depicting a fantastical world where the lived, the dreamed, and desired coexisted. When this invented land felt oppressive and the anxiety of facing it too overwhelming, Vernon retreated again and burrowed within himself, pulverizing his voice with machines to create 22, A Million, a record that dramatized the fracturing of the self.

There’s no more hiding on i,i. Justin Vernon takes the Bon Iver sound and reassembles it like a cubist collage, with his voice right out front. All the familiar elements are here—impressionist swells of sound, impenetrable-yet-tender lyrics, mesmerizing studio tricks—and they are buoyed by Vernon’s supple baritone, the instrument he knows how to manipulate best. Acoustic guitar, horns, and piano return to prominence alongside the jittery electronics and synths that Vernon has lately favored. But the mood he conjures with these elements feels new. These songs don’t swallow you whole with grandeur; they look outward, leaving some room for the rest of the world.

The lyrics find Vernon locating peace within the ordinary and everyday. “I like you/And that ain’t nothing new,” he sings simply on “iMi.” Later, on “RABi,” he observes, “Well, it’s all just scared of dying.” These things don’t always merit saying out loud, but Vernon seems to be singing them to rediscover their meaning, and the music feels equally straightforward and searching. Songs like “Marion” and “Holyfields,” are uncharacteristically unadorned, even compared to the For Emma and Blood Bank era, when Vernon was at least joined by his own echoes. Here, he sounds completely exposed.

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