Tag Archives: JustinVernon

The Top Ten Albums Of 2011: Number 1

Number 1: Bon Iver, Bon Iver

And so here it is, the number one album of 2011. This year there was only one winner. This album was as close to perfection as any got to in 2011. Before this year, Justin Vernon was always known as the guy who recorded an album for months in isolation in a cabin. The result, For Emma, Forever Agowas a folk guitar piece of brilliance. It was fragile, heartfelt and full of heartbreak. This year though, the one man project come band really found their own. The self-titled second album could not be further from the debut.

From the opener Perth until closer ‘Beth/Rest’ is an album of sincere lyrics, majestic imagery,  beautiful harmonies, superb musicianship and a collective quality. You cannot skip a track. It grips you from the start, taking the listener on a journey from one beautiful place to another. If ‘For Emma’ was very personal and inward, ‘Bon Iver’ is most definitely for a large audience and one that puts the listener in a zone. Much has been written about Holocene, the grammy nominated track. It is beautiful and epic. ‘Calgary’ is darker, but equally enthralling.

‘Hinnom, TX’ is a track that reminds me more of a sunrise/sunset more than any other song. Its magical, as is the whole album. ‘Towers’ and ‘Wash.’ are both upbeat and continue the quality. As with Vernon’s good friend Kanye West‘s landmark record ‘My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy’ last year, this is the most complete and compelling album released in 2011. It was really Bon Iver’s year.

Words By Conor Kelly

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The Top Ten Albums Of 2011: Number 8

Number 8: Jay-Z & Kanye West-Watch The Throne

When it was announced that Jay and Kanye were recording an album together, we knew for the most part what to expect. That did not make it any less compelling however. The huge samples produced by Yeezy, the A-list guests including Beyonce, Justin Vernon, Frank Ocean and Mr. Hudson, lyrics about their obscene wealth and the supreme flow of Hov in particular. Both guys bring pretty much their A-games, which makes this one of the best Hip-Hop records all year.

Words By Conor Kelly

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The Top 20 Tracks Of 2011 Number: 1

Number 1: Bon Iver-Holocene

This was Justin Vernon and Bon Iver’s year. Their self-titled second album finally chopped down the myth of Vernon just being a folk singer living in a cabin, an amazing record full of vast musicianship and Justin’s voice expansive and open. ‘Holocene’, the Grammy nominated track, was the highlight of a remarkable ten tracks, although anyone of them could have been included here. The beautiful acoustic guitar intro and Vernon’s perfect falsetto, the expansive horn section and the warm piano build to a massive crescendo as he sings “and at once I knew, I was not magnificent.” This band are magnificent.

Words By Conor Kelly

Thanks for reading. You can have a look at the other tracks and have your say. Your feedback is welcome. Thanks!

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Watch Bon Iver Perform With The National

Bon Iver and The National were both guests CBC Radio’s “Q” Show last night. The National performed two new tracks and were joined on stage by Justin Vernon, who performed ‘Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks’ off their last record ‘High Violet.’

Vernon also was interviewed. He talked about their Grammy nominations and also Kanye West’s controversial  Taylor Swift stage invasion at the MTV VMA’s. Watch the performances below:

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See Bon Iver, Feist and Mastodon live on Jools Holland

 Later…With Jools Holland had an eclectic line-up last night as usual. Bon Iver played ‘Towers’ off their self-titled latest album. Also playing were Feist and Mastodon. Bon Iver play The Grand Canal Theatre Dublin  tomorrow night. You can see all the performances below:

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