Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Bon Iver - i , i [Jagjaguwar]

Coming in as quite a surprise these days was "i , i", the fourth longplay outing by the highly and also critically acclaimed band outfit that is Bon Iver. Having made major waves since their originally self-released debut "For Emma, Forever Ago" the band is coming with a fully fledged set of 12 new tracks plus the experimental, highly cut up album intro all crammed into roughly 40 minutes on CD brought to us in an artsy, extremely thought out as well as super tight and slightly impractical packaging all designers will love anyway. Musically, the content of "i , i" is as complex and multi-layered as its cover and defo not an easy one to love on first sight. Electronically created beats and atmospheres, elements of Musique Concrete and echoes of Indietronica clash with classic, inward-looking Indie, dramatic falsetto vocals, bits of Jazz, reminiscent of Gonjasufi, and hyperemotional fragility, some tracks suddenly disappearing from a songs overall mix only to pop up later totally out of time and rhythm like they were recorded on crumbled and destroyed magnetic tape, innocent, frolicking solo piano meets uplifting singer-songwriterism with a Gospel-infused attitude, DesertBlues and processed wind instruments meet Outsider Blues and ever present is the spirit of Alternative Rock and Indie. This is not an album that wants to be loved. You gotta take your time and work your way through it in quite a few multiple sittings to fully embrace its unquestioned complexity and craft although we bet even after these you won't be able to find a well obvious hit on this one which probably will rather resonate with die-hard fans than broaden Bon Iver's overall audience.


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