Bon Iver by Bon Iver
Review: Do “hipsters” exist in BlueBell, Alabama? Though the “skinny jean” here is merely the unfortunate consequence of one too many a trip to RJ’s Endless Étouffée Tuesday. But in the heart of this reviewer, the hipster population is alive and well. And the blood pulsing through that heart at present? The self-titled album by indie rock band Bon Iver (bone ee-vair, for the plebes).
The work is an example of emotion delivered by way of nuance – a tact Kayne West never cared to learn – with each song displaying a delicacy and honesty sadly forgotten by mainstream radio. Sparse piano keys and guitar strings layer upon one another like a delicious Napoleon, atmospheric flourishes and ambient noises swirling in between held whole by the haunted fragility of Justin Vernon’s vocals, so powerful as to elevate simple repetition into a wrenching of the gut. “Holocene” is prime example of Vernon’s magic at work, the song’s refrain – I was not magnificent – spun to become exactly what it claims it is not – magnificent. Beauty found in an unexpected place, like yours truly in BlueBell.Recap: I do not toss around terms like masterpiece lightly. But Bon Iver is exactly that, a masterpiece worthy of the vaunted Quadruple Dash and special place in my secret hipster heart (but not in my wardrobe, the only converse I like is one that is full of insightful and meaningful dialogue).